Mende mask - Sierra Leone. Dimensions of 51 x 28 x 23.5 cms.
Weight of about 2,280 kg without packaging. Presumed seniority: Over 50 years. Is not the only female initiation society in West Africa. Among the Sénoufo, with the powerful Poro, coexists the association.
Taking care of the initiation of the young girls, one notices them at the time of funeral, carrying on the head of the statues representing a woman or a maternity at the time of the ceremonies. On the other hand is unique: it is the only female society in West Africa to wear masks that are the famous mask-helmets that constitute. Masks very remarkable for their folds in the neck. Represent an ideal of feminine beauty for.
Now the folds of fat constitute an important mark of beauty for all the cultures of West Africa (and more generally in Africa). The fluted neck is therefore the mark of these folds of fat, a reference to the woman's abundance and fertility. These are real and important signs of beauty. In a very concrete way, when the young girls withdraw.
Months in the forest, they undergo among other rites, real fattening rites. We make them eat more than they should in order to acquire at least a double chin! More poetically, we have given various interpretations to these folds: reference to the chrysalis of the butterfly since the passage through initiation transforms the girl into a woman; reference to the wave which propagates on the surface of the water when the aquatic spirit of Sowei appears that is to say when the women of Sandé dance....
Still, above the folds, the little mouth is closed, the almond shaped eyes are too, a reference to the spirit world but also an attitude of humility and reserve expected from future wives. Courtesy of Detours of the worlds.These masks were usually used on the most solemn festivals, or during the exercise of justice. Funeral ceremonies and initiation into society. During the initiation, women occupying a high rank in society use these ornaments to welcome the youngest after a three-month retreat in the forest.
A long suit completes the mask. And used to hide the whole body. This mask represents the spirit of fertility and embodies feminine waters. The characteristic features of this type of mask are always feminine, even when they embody a masculine spirit. We always find certain constants in the realization: long, half-closed eyes, a delicate lip design, a very sophisticated hairstyle, a very fine nose and a serene forehead.
Magnificent Mende mask, with a bird asymmetrically positioned in a crest. The cap is also asymmetrical. Small lack on the bottom - see last photo. Other photos are available on request.
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Direct Tel: + 33 7 80 58 87 26. The item "Art African Arts First Tribal African Mask Mask Helmet Mende 51 CMS" is in sale since Thursday, April 2, 2020. This item is in the category "Art\Fine Art Sculptures". The seller is "collectionneurdafrique" and is located in Hautefond. This item can be shipped to North, South, or Latin America, all countries in Europe, all countries in continental Asia, Australia.