Sande Society Zoba Helmet MaskMid 20th century
Wood, dyed raffia fibers
13 x 8 in. (33.02 x 20.32 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2016.14.4
Other Number(s): 2014.17.4 (Incorrect Accession No.)
Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Vai, Sierra Leonean, West African, African
Collection: Jane Martin Collection
This object has the following keywords:
African*, carvings*, ceremonial masks*, helmet masks*, horns*, initiations*, masques*, metal*, raffia*, ritual objects*, secret societies*, Vai, West African*, women*, wood*
- 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.
- horns - The non-deciduous excrescences, often curved and pointed, consisting of an epidermal sheath growing about a bony core on the head of certain mammals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and antelopes, or formed from matted hair on the rhinoceros. Horns serve as displays and as weapons of offence or defense.
- initiations - Ceremonies formally admitting someone into a community, organization, or other group, or investing them with a particular role or status.
- masques - Short allegorical dramatic entertainments performed by masked performers, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.
- 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.
- 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.
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0177800.
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.
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