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Helmet or Mblo Portrait Mask Cote d’Ivoire African Art 1426

Sande society Sowei masks—unique to the region around Sierra Leone—are worn by senior members of the all-female Sande Society during rite-of-passage ceremonies that signify a girl’s transition to adulthood. They are carved expressions of local ideals of feminine beauty, health and serenity that vary widely in their detail.