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Image of Poro Society Mende Gbetu Mask

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Bookmark: http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145838



unknown Mende
Mende (active ) Primary



Poro Society Mende Gbetu Mask

19th century - 20th century
Carved and incised wood with patina

30 in. (76.2 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.141
Other Number(s): 167 (5) (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Mende, Sierra Leonean, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • ceremonial masks - Refers to masks created for or used in ceremonies or rituals.
  • helmet masks - Masks that enclose the head entirely or in part, especially those worn during African ceremonies and masquerades.
  • masks - Refers to coverings for all or part of the face, usually with openings for the eyes and sometimes the mouth. They are worn to hide or alter the identity of the wearer or for protection. Masks as cultural objects have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age. Masks are extremely varied in appearance, function, and fundamental meaning. They may be associated with ceremonies that have religious and social significance or are concerned with funerary customs, fertility rites, or curing sickness. They may be used on festive occasions or to portray characters in a dramatic performance and in re-enactments of mythological events. They may be used for warfare and as protective devices in certain sports. They are also employed as architectural ornaments.
  • masques - Short allegorical dramatic entertainments performed by masked performers, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • men - Refers to male human beings from young adulthood through old age.
  • Mende
  • Mende-Nkwe - Refers to works produced by the African ethnic group of the same name, inhabiting Cameroon.
  • rites of passage - Ritual ceremonies performed to facilitate or mark a person's change of status upon any of several important social and personal occasions, such as the onset of puberty.
  • secret societies - Any of various societies, the members of which are sworn to keep the rules, activities, and purposes secret from nonmembers.
  • Sierra Leonean - Style and culture of the nation of Sierra Leone.
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • women - Refers to female human beings from young adulthood through old age.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.3.141_BMC_f_ed.jpg
99.3.141_BMC_f_ed.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.141_BMC_f.jpg
99.3.141_BMC_f.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • African Images, Western Imageries: Collecting and Recollecting African Bryn Mawr College , Sep 26, 1999 – Jun 15, 2000

Provenance History
  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/07/1996


Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0177725.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0138779.
  • William A. Fagaly, "The Traditional Arts of Liberia." African Arts 18, no 2 (February 1985): 81.
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0138796.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco." (Accessed April 8, 2020): Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, https://art.famsf.org/. https://www.sfomuseum.org/exhibitions/liberian-helmet-masks-sande-and-poro-societies-collections-phoebe-hearst-museum/detail#9.
  • William C. Siegmann and Judith Perani. "Men's Masquerades of Sierra Leone and Liberia." African Arts 9, No. 3 (April 1976): 46-47.
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0138796.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url=http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145838 |title=Poro Society Mende Gbetu Mask |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=5/24/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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