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Image of Sande Society Sowei Helmet Mask

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Bookmark: http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145814



Workshop of
Manowulo
Sewa-Mende Primary



Sande Society Sowei Helmet Mask

Likely 1933-1967
Carved, stamped, and appliqued wood, and aluminum

14.5 x 8.5 x 10 in. (36.83 x 21.59 x 25.4 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.26
Other Number(s): 171 (9) (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Sewa-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.
  • 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.
  • earrings - Ear ornaments worn suspended from a bent wire or a thin loop passed through a hole pierced in the lobe of the ear or clipped or screwed to the lobe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mende
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • Mirrors and Masks: Reflections and Constructions of the Self Bryn Mawr College , Mar 23, 2017 – Jun 4, 2017
  • African Images, Western Imageries: Collecting and Recollecting African Bryn Mawr College , Sep 26, 1999 – Jun 15, 2000

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/20/1996


Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Carrie Robbins and Steven Z. Levine. Mirrors & Masks. Bryn Mawr College. Bryn Mawr, PA, March, 2017
    Page Number: 60, Figure Number: Plate 20
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0177760.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Ruth B. Phillips, Representing Woman: Sande Masquerades of the Mende of Sierra Leone (Los Angeles, CA: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995), 171. Figure Number: 8.21ab, 8.22ab

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020): Imodara.com. https://www.imodara.com/discover/sierra-leone-mende-ndoli-jowei-sande-sowei-helmet-mask/.
  • Tom Phillips, ed. Africa: The Art of a Continent (Munich; London; New York: Prestel Verlag and Royal Academy of Arts, 1999), 472-473. Figure Number: 5.136
  • Ruth B. Phillips, "Masking in Mende Sande Society Initiation Rituals." Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 48, no. 3 (1978): 265-277.
  • J. V. Olufemi Richards, "The Sande Mask." African Arts 7, no. 2 (Winter 1974): 48-51.
  • 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), 171. Figure Number: 8.21ab, 8.22ab
  • M. C. Jȩdrej, "An Analytical Note on the Land and Spirits of the Sewa Mende." Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 44, no. 1 (January, 1974): 38-45.
  • "Dallas Museum of Art Online Collections." (Accessed May 10, 2020): collections.dma.org. https://collections.dma.org/essay/bN7g03Wv.

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/145814 |title=Sande Society Sowei Helmet Mask |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=12/6/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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