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Image of Sande Society Zoba Helmet Mask

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unknown Mende
Mende (active ) Primary

Sande Society Zoba Helmet Mask

Late 20th century
Carved wood, dyed raffia

17.323 x 9.252 x 11.024 in. (44 x 23.5 x 28 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2016.14.17
Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Mende, Sierra Leonean, West African, African
Collection: Jane Martin 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.
  • initiations - Ceremonies formally admitting someone into a community, organization, or other group, or investing them with a particular role or status.
  • Mende
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • secret societies - Any of various societies, the members of which are sworn to keep the rules, activities, and purposes secret from nonmembers.
  • 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 2016.14.17_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_b.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_b_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_f.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_pl.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_pl_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_pr.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_pr_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_r.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_r_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_t.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.17_BMC_t_2.jpg

  • Owner Name: Jane Martin, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
    Ownership Start Date: April 8, 1986
    Ownership End Date: May 1, 2016

  • Owner Name: Muhammed Sillah
    Role: Seller
    Place: Liberia
    Ownership End Date: April 8, 1986
    Remarks: Likely purchased in Monrovia, Liberia

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0177803.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco." (Accessed April 8, 2020): Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Accession No.: 1981.21.9.
  • "The British Museum Online Collection." (Accessed May 17, 2020): Accession No.: Af1956,10.2.
  • Priscilla Hinkley, "The Sowo Mask: Symbol of Sisterhood." (1980): African Studies Center, Boston University, 49, Figure Number: 35.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Lester P. Monts, "Dance in the Vai Sande Society." African Arts 17, no. 4 (August 1984): 53-59, 94-95.
  • Frederick Lamp, "Cosmos, Cosmetics, and the Spirit of Bondo." African Arts 18, no. 3 (May 1985): 28-43, 98-99.
  • Ruth B. Phillips, Representing Woman: Sande Masquerades of the Mende of Sierra Leone (Los Angeles, CA: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995), 162-163.
  • Gavin H. Imperato and Pascal James Imperato. Bundu: Sowei Headpieces of the Sande Society of West Africa (New York, New York: Kilima House Publishers, 2012), 131. Figure Number: 30

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

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Sande Society Zoba Helmet Mask |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/6/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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