The only masks worn by women in Africa by an initiation
society called the ‘Sande’.
The masks appear during the
initiation cycle: periods of education & ceremony for young
girls celebrating their transformation into adulthood before
The Mende people believe that their ancestral
spirits reside in bodies of water. The neck rings are interpreted
as the ripples of water that radiate from the spirit when it
appears from the water.
An individually designed & elaborate
coiffure is the most prominent feature of the mask. The mask
embodies the influence that Sande has in every aspect of a
Mende woman’s life.
The mask brings into physical form the
Sande spirit, while simultaneously reflecting ideals of social,
ethical, & spiritual values instilled by this powerful society.
Height including stand: 23"