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A Mende Helmet Mask
Sierra Leone, Africa
These masks are worn only by members of the Sande women's society. Representing female water spirits the masks have an idealised female face whose features conform to strict conventions symbolising religious and philosophical ideals.
height 35.5 cm (14 in)
Bibliography: Representing Woman, Sande Masquerades of the Mende of Sierra Leone, Ruth B. Phillips pub.UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History 1995.
African Masks from the Barbier Mueller Collection, pub. Geneva 1998
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