Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Mende Carved Head Sowei Sande Society Liberia African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $144.00 Regular Price $350.00
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Title Mende Carved Head Sowei Sande Society Liberia African Art
Type of Object Carving
Country of Origin Liberia
People Mende, see also Gola, Vai
Materials Wood
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Height (in) 11
Width (in) 4.5
Dimensions Height: 11 Inches
Width: 4.5 Inches
Overall Condition Poor. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage. Several cracks in places, chips
Damage/Repair Arrested bug damage, damaged bottom, chips and cracks

Additional Information: Though many works of art have come out of the Guinea Coast region of West Africa few have as much prominence as the carvings worn by the women of the Sande society of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 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. Sande continues to play a prominent role in women’s lives today among the Mende, Temne ,Vai, Bassa, Sherbro, Gola and other peoples of the region. The authority of Sande derives its power and influence from ‘hale’, the magic that women control and which resides in the Sowei mask.

Recommended reading:

Gottschalk, B. “Bundu”. 1990. Mato, D. and C. Miller. “Sande masks and Statues From Sierra Leone and Liberia”. 1990

Boone, S. “Radience From the Waters.” 1986