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ID number:  BIRRC-D0260
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  The Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Helmet mask
Object type:  Mask
Place made:  Sierra Leone
Culture:  Mende
Materials:  Wood

This helmet mask ('Zogbe') is carved with a banded collar and hair arrangement, topped by a small cooking pot (fairly modern). These masks are worn during religious and ritual ceremonies undertaken by Sande society in Sierra Leone. This society is the female adult initiation Society of the Mende people, with its male counterpart being 'Poro'. The masks are carved to particular specifications with each elaborate aspect representing a Sande members aspiration to pure physical and spiritual beauty. This mask was collected between 1967 and 1968. It was lent to the University by J. Danford in 1969, then acquired by purchase in 1975.

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