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Image of Sande Society Zoba Helmet Mask

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unknown Gola (West Atlantic)
Gola Primary

Sande Society Zoba Helmet Mask

Mid 20th century - Late 20th century
Carved wood, metal, dyed raffia

16.535 x 8.661 x 10.236 in. (42 x 22 x 26 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2016.14.11
Geography: Africa, Liberia
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Gola, Liberian, 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.
  • braids - Patterns created by intertwining three or more strands of material into a plait. This is often achieved with human hair or used as the basis of a hairstyle.
  • 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.
  • Gola
  • 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.
  • Liberian - Style and culture of the nation of Liberia, a West African state founded in 1822.
  • metal - Any of a large group of substances that typically show a characteristic luster, are good conductors of electricity and heat, are opaque, can be fused, and are usually malleable or ductile.
  • raffia - Strong fiber from leafstalks of palms of the genus Raphia, native to Africa and other places. Raffia fibers are used in their natural state by splitting apart thick sections and knotting the ends together. The fibers are a pale cream color and are often dyed to bright colors. Raffia is used to make skirts, woven into baskets, hats, bags, and mats. It is also used to make a fine grade of paper similar to Japanese papers.
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • scarifications - Refers to permanent marks, such as symbols, patterns, or other designs, made on human skin by scarring, done for social or cultural reasons or for personal decoration.
  • 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 2016.14.11_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_b.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_b_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_f.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_pl.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_pl_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_pr.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_pr_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_r.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_r_2.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_t.jpg
Additional Image 2016.14.11_BMC_t_2.jpg

  • Owner Name: Jane Martin, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
    Ownership Start Date: August 29, 1985
    Ownership End Date: May 1, 2016

  • Owner Name: Sekou Sillah
    Role: Seller
    Place: Liberia
    Ownership End Date: August 29, 1985
    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.: 0177801.

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.

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= |title=Sande Society Zoba Helmet Mask |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/8/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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