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Lot 3: A CRACKED WOODEN FEMALE MENDE DANCE MASK WITH THREE FACES,
Treasures of a Lifetime - The Collection of Billy Jamieson
November 18, 2012
Toronto, ON, Canada
Description: A Mende female dance mask from Sierra Leone, badly cracked on one side, with three raised decoration low hanging faces and repeating herringbone and crisscross motifs, with a small staff-like crenellation at the top in the shape of the head of a woman.The Sande Society is "sacred, and its communion is secret. Sowo, the classical Sande Society mask, is the embodiment of the society, a presentation which Sande has designed to ennoble its member and strengthen the larger community." (Boone, 153) These masks serve as a reminder to the Mende people of Sierra Leone of the duality of humanity: the human world and the spiritual world. The female Mende masks promote ideas of female beauty, coming of age, and chastity, and the masks appear at initiation rituals, as well as funerals and chief consecrations.
Dimensions: height 18.9" - 48 cm., diameter 9" - 22.9 cm.