The mask, when danced, is a visual expression of this spirit the term also refers to the custodian of the medicine — a sande official smarthistory images for teaching and learning:. A guardian spirit of a sande society of the mende, who is represented by is a masker whose figure is completely covered with black raffia, topped by the sowei mask. Sowei back to all glossary items mende name for a senior member of the women's sande society and by extension the name sometimes applied to the black wooden helmet mask that is worn by the sande masker, the ndoli jowei or 'dancing sowei'. Buy mende helmet mask sowei sande society liberia african art: wall sculptures - amazoncom free delivery possible on eligible purchases.
Sowei mask worn by senior members of the all-female sande society during rite-of-passage ceremonies that signify a girl's transition to adulthood they are carved expressions of local ideals of feminine beauty, health and serenity that vary widely in their detail. Masquerade performances play an important symbolic role in the sande society the mask is worn by the ndoli jowei (“the sowei who dances”) along with a black raffia and textile costume which completely conceals her identity. Mende bundu 'sande society' sowei mask the coiffure with nine median ridges, incised scarification to cheeks and forehead, black patina this wooden mask is associated with a secret women's society which exists in parts of west africa, particularly in sierra leone and liberia it is worn with a black raffia costume, at importan.
The mask closely resembles those of the sowei masks of the sande society, except that it has a long-ringed neck with a small head at the top the helmet portions of the gbetu masks are typically carved with faces, while the base displays various arrangements of geometric motifs. Sowei the sande mask, sowei, embodies the spiritual power of the sande society, and is symbolic of sande ideals of feminine beautyone of the highest honors in sande culture, the sande masker, ndoli jowei, is at once a teacher, entertainer, and emotional barometer for her community. Of the sowei mask as an art form and illustrates the role of masquerades in mende life the sande society is one of a number of associations which regulate conduct and. This type of helmet mask would have been worn during special occasions by mende women within their town’s sande society, which is entirely female it represents the protective river spirit sowei, and is the only known african wooden masks worn by women. The ceremonies of the sande society are the only occasions in africa in which women customarily wear wooden masks masks like this one represent the society's guardian spirit at public events such as funerals or the installations of chiefs.
The sowei mask evokes an ideal the deep, shiny black surface recalls the smooth skin of young initiates and the deep pools of water where sande’s guardian spirit resides the deep, shiny black surface recalls the smooth skin of young initiates and the deep pools of water where sande’s guardian spirit resides. This is an elegant and fine carved wooden mask from the mende peoples of sierra leone, west africa such masks are carved by members of the sande society for use during a young woman's initiation ceremonies. The sowei mask of the sande society is a symbol for the mende people of sierra leone stand foring the ideals of feminine beauty, but the sande society besides plays a cardinal function in the nurturing, support, and initiation of immature adult females into grownups. Membership in sande is exclusively reserved for women for it is the sande society that initiates young girls into adult status assuring that the girls are instructed in their duties to come as wives and responsible adult members of their village.
Bundu: sowei headpieces of the sande society of west africa from the imperato family collection bundu mask sande society, mende peoples (west african forests of sierra leone and liberia) 19th to 20th century ce wood, cloth, and fiber. The sande society and the sowei mask political, educational, and gender aspects of the women ‘s society of the mende the sowei mask of the sande society is a symbol for the mende people of sierra leone stand foring the ideals of feminine beauty, but the sande society besides plays a cardinal function in the . The sowei mask is worn and performed by a member of the sande society and the mask wearer bears the same title – sowei – as the highest ranking members of the society sowei masks are works of artistic creativity that connect human and spirit worlds and this mask, with its representation of a western hat, also challenges perceptions about . The mask shown here is the only one in the collection worn exclusively by women women of the sande society, an association to support women's role in government, wore this type of mask (called sowei) during a ceremony celebrating both female water spirits and the founder of the sande society.
Sowei mask for sande society by varney masalay, morno jaleba 1981 a work from the collections of the de young and legion of honor museums of san francisco, ca. Mende helmet mask bundu or sowei mask sande society sierra leone and liberia in sub-saharan africa only men are normally permitted on ritual occasions to.
A mende helmet mask sowei, for the sande society the narrow triangular face with finely carved features, the coiffure dressed in four lobes below bifurcated topknot, dark crusty patina. Helmet mask (zogbe) for sande society, from the collection of the brooklyn museum the sande society is one of the most influential patrons of the visual arts in west africa  the sande sowei masquerades promote and represent the images of women in specific ritual and festive contexts. A sande masker holds the title of sowei, the highest rank in the sande society, but is more often referred to as ndoli jowei, “the dancing sowei,” which signifies her primary role in the society (phillips 1978, 268). The sande society mask, or sowo-wui, is worn by mende women of sierra leone, and has the distinction of being one of the few ritual masks worn by african women the sande, or bundu, society is a fellowship of women who are responsible for.