A fragmentary Bundu helmet mask, Sierra Leone / Liberia, a beautiful old mask, carved from light wood with a blackened surface, a part of the domed headdress on the right side is missing, abrasions at the nose and the rim.
The Mende initiation rite for young women is the only known masquerade tradition where the mask-wearers are female.
Sowei refers most specifically to medicine—the kind of medicine that female healers/herbalists utilize. Embodied in this idea of medicine is a spiritual force. The mask, when danced, is a visual expression of this spirit. The term also refers to the custodian of the medicine — a Sande official. S. Brooklyn Museum, smarthistory/bundu-sowei-helkmet.mask by Dr.Peri Klemm and Dr. Steven Zucker.
700 – 800,- Euro
Height: 45 cm
Weight: 2 kg