TYPE: Mask
DIMENSIONS: Heights: 16 and 17 inches (40.64 and 43.18 cm)
COMPONENTS: One with eyes downcast, eye lashes indicated beneath, the coiffure in curving and vertical braids surmounted by a coxcomb with notches along top and tapering horn-like projection at back. The other has a coiffure of plaits and braids swept up to four topknots. The eye holes roughly chipped away to make them larger. A small aluminum crescent on the forehead. Long braided fiber remains of the costume attached to bottom perimeter.
CONDITION: Both in good condition, appropriate for age, origin, and mediums; the first with a nailed repair to the beak shape at top; the other with a hairline crack on the forehead up into the coiffure and minor scrapes.
ITEM ID: 5562
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Two Mende Helmet Masks

Century: 20th (1901-2000)
Notes: mid 20th century

Two Mende helmet masks.

The Mende are one of the two largest ethnic groups in Sierra Leone and many of their ancestors were captured and sold into slavery. Researchers have discovered that elements of their African culture has been preserved among African-American communities in Georgia.