A rare, early Mende sculpture, Sierra Leone, in an upright position, the arms carved close to the torso, large tapering breasts, the thick, elongated neck with typical beaded rings, the face with a pointed mouth, a slender nose framed by abstract sliteyes, the headdress with an artificial designed hairstyle in striated manner; blackened patina, the feet fragmentary, similar like the Mende/Bundu masks the wood is light, incl. stand.
It is unknown whether these figures can also be attributed to the Bundu masks, which belong to one of the few secret organizations of West Africa, which are exclusively operated by women. “Unlike the famous Bundu masks, the statuary of the Mende people of Sierra Leone is relatively rare and little-studied. Standing figures of women are used in the context of initiation societies governing the life of the Mende, including the sande, njayei, humoi, and yassi societies. These figures conform to classic Mende ideals of beauty as seen in the masks, including the distinctive tightly-braided coiffure, narrowly squinting eyes, petite face and ringed neck. Such figures were known as minsere and may have had a medicinal function. Source: Mato and Miller 1990: 69.
600 – 800,- Euro
Height: 67 cm
Weight: 2,9 kg