Sande mask
On View In:
Gallery 254
Artist:   Artist Unknown  
Title:   Sande mask  
Date:   second quarter of 20th century  
Medium:   Wood, raffia  
Dimensions:   13 x 8 x 8 in. (33.0 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm)  
Credit Line:   The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund  
Location:   Gallery 254  

A mask sometimes embodies ideals of physical and moral beauty or goodness. Here, the high forehead, downcast eyes, and elaborate coiffure suggest the pinnacle of female attractiveness among the Mende people. One of the very few types of masks worn by women in Africa, it accompanied young girls who had undergone initiation into the Sande association that prepared them for adulthood. The dyed raffia attached to the mask was part of a larger costume that would have entirely covered the dancer.

Name:   Artist Unknown  

Object Description  
Classification:   Ceremonial Objects  
Physical Description:   Mende Society Mask, wood and raffia, Mende Tribe, Sierra Leone, Africa, XIX c. Msmt.s of helmet only. *Med.Raffia ?- Poss. Human Hair!  
Creation Place:   Africa, Sierra Leone, West Africa region, ,  
Accession #:   72.69.1  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts