Mende, Sierra Leone

Mark and Mary Jo Wentzel
Collection of African Art

Mende, Sierra Leone
Helmet Mask (sowei), n.d.
Wood
16 1/2" x 9" x 9"
UWM Art Collection, 2008.010
Gift of Mark and Mary Jo Wentzel


This helmet mask represents the water spirit, Sowo, the ideal of female beauty and proper behavior. The rings around the neck are symmetrical lines in the skin. They are a common way of representing beauty and physical perfection.

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