Carved wooden helmet mask used by the exclusively female Sande (Mende) or Bondo/Bundu (Temne) societies. The mask is traditionally worn by a high-ranking member of the society, the dancing sowei , known as the ndoli jowei among the Mende or a-Nowo among the Temne. Worn with a raffia costume, the masks typically have a polished black finish, with neck rings, elaborate coiffure and dignified facial expression. The mask is thought to represent conceptions of idealised womanhood. This example is roughly carved, or unfinished, and has no eye-holes, or holes for raffia.
- Type: Masks, headdresses
- Object: Sowei Mask
- Materials: Wood
- Culture Group: Other
- Dimensions: 380mm [H] ; 740mm [C].
- Production Date: Pre 2010
- Associated Places: Unknown
- Associated People: Unknown
- Museum: Sierra Leone National Museum
- Accession Number: SLNM.2010.003.04