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African Headdresses - Mende Sande Headdress

African art and masks of the Mende. The Mende people of Sierra Leone number about 2,000,000 and rely on secret societies to control virtually every aspect of tribal life. The Sande is perhaps the most famous secret society, and is responsible for initiating girls into adulthood. Comprised solely of women, the Sande Secret Society conducts all of its ceremonies in secret with no men present. Helmets used in this rite are carved from the full trunk of a single tree, are typically black with a pointed shape, and are worn with a full body suit. Because these helmets are said to be “found” in the jungle where they have been left by the Sande spirits, the identity of the artisans is usually never known. Our example features rolls of fat under the chin signifying wealth. It is 15.5 inches tall, 7.75 inches wide at the base, and has small holes at the bottom attach a body suit.



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Africa Headdresses - Mende Headdress

Africa Headdresses - Mende Headdress

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