What is distinctive about the Mende mask tradition?

What is distinctive about the Mende mask tradition?

Within Mende and Sherbro culture, helmet masks are carved with symbolic features that endow wearers with spiritual power. Senior members of two distinct initiation societies, Sande and Humui, may have worn this work in performances.

What is unique about the mask tradition in Sierra Leone?

The sowei mask is unique because it is danced by a woman. The mask and its wearer offered a model of ideal behavior for new members to emulate and a demonstration of female virtues and wisdom to the larger community.

What is an African masquerade?

Masquerades are multimedia events that often include not one but several masked dancers embodying various spirits. For example, annual Egungun masquerades bring the ancestors back to town dressed in sumptuous cloths.

What is Mende culture?

The Mende culture consists of two main societies- the Poro and the Sande. The primary role of both societies are the same in that they intend to teach people the expectations of the community, but they are distinguishable from each other by group members’ gender. The Poro is for men and the Sande is for women.

Which culture has a female masking society?

In Sierra Leone and western Liberia, each town has a Sande society that includes all of the women in the community. It represents them and binds them together as a powerful social and political force. The Sande society is one of the most influential patrons of the visual arts in West Africa.

Where did Mende come from?

Mende, people of Sierra Leone, including also a small group in Liberia; they speak a language of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo family. The Mende grow rice as their staple crop, as well as yams and cassava. Cash crops include cocoa, ginger, peanuts (groundnuts), and palm oil and kernels.

Why do masquerades chase you?

As a passerby, resident or traveller, you may encounter masquerades who would accost you with their whips and canes, trying to get a rise out of you. This is the whole bane of the encounter because if you show fear, they will take advantage of that to harass you into doing what they want.

What’s the purpose of a masquerade?

Masquerades include lots of music and dancing. They are used for entertainment purposes as well as in celebrating rituals, such as the rites of passage and speaking to the dead as in the African tradition and cultural heritage.

Where are the Mende people?

Mende, people of Sierra Leone, including also a small group in Liberia; they speak a language of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo family. The Mende grow rice as their staple crop, as well as yams and cassava.

What language is Mende?

Mende /ˈmɛndi/ (Mɛnde yia) is a major language of Sierra Leone, with some speakers in neighboring Liberia. It is spoken by the Mende people and by other ethnic groups as a regional lingua franca in southern Sierra Leone. Mende is a tonal language belonging to the Mande language family.

What is the difference between Sande and Poro society?

The Poro, or Purrah or Purroh, is a men’s secret society in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast, introduced by the Mande people. It is sometimes referred to as a hunting society and only males are admitted to its ranks. The female counterpart of the Poro society is the Sande society.

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