This helmet mask reveals the hand of a master through its refined carving, harmonious design, and innovative elements. Within Mende and Sherbro culture, helmet masks are carved with symbolic features intended to endow the wearer with spiritual power. Senior members of two distinct initiation societies, Sande and Humui, may have worn this work in performances.
Sande is a powerful pan-ethnic women’s association responsible for the education and moral development of young girls. Helmet masks of this kind represent its guardian spirit and allude to an idealized female beauty.
CMAA is an experience created by African artifacts collector Eric Edwards, who has amassed one of the largest African art collections in the United States. In a journey of over fifty years of carefully selecting these items, which date back to over four thousand years, these rare and unique African artifacts are now being shared with the public in a museum setting for education and joy.
Address: Cultural Museum of African Art, Inc. The Eric Edwards Collection 1360 Fulton St, 2nd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11216