Utilitarian objects such as heddle pulleys are decorated with carved heads or other beautiful designs. The Mende language is closely related to the Mande language group, indicating that the Mende migrated from the Sudan to the north. The oral traditions of the Mende tell of a peaceful migration into the area that may have spanned the period from 200 to 1500 A.
Cultural and physical differences among the Mende suggest that immigrants may have originated from more than one source. This could also be a result of intermarriage with the peoples who had already lived in the area.Artistic traditions link them closely to the coastal Bullom peoples, a phenomenon which most likely resulted from the Mende borrowing ideas they found to be useful in their own society. The Mende are traditionally rice farmers who also produce yams and cassava as staple crops. Cocoa, ginger, groundnuts (peanuts), and palm oil are the primary cash crops. There are two main educational societies among the Mende which are divided by gender. They are the Poro, for men, and the Sande, for women, and are open to anyone in the community. They have earned the misnomer secret societies because some of their actions are hidden from the eyes of uninitiated children and members of the opposite sex. Their existence and purpose is known to all members of society. The primary role of both is to teach individuals about the expectations of the community. Such organizations function to institute community morals and act as a very efficient means of social control. Ngewo is the creator and ruler of the universe and is assisted by the ancestors and other Nga-fa (spirits).
Both are appealed to for protection and fertility for the community and the individual. All manifestation of the spirit, including the masks that are performed for religious ceremonies, are considered Nga-fa. The masks are carved to be aesthetically pleasing to the spirits. It is hoped that through its continual use the spirits will agree to embody the dancer during the ceremony. Interestingly, the Bondu helmet mask, which is associated with the Sande society and is found throughout Sierra Leone and western Liberia among numerous ethnic groups, is the only known masking tradition in Africa exclusively worn by women.
Although women throughout Africa often act as intermediaries between the spirit world and the earthly world, there are no other known examples of women using masks. Our Africa-gallery specialized in Ethiopian tribal art, collected and sell tribal used art from all over Africa and special from Ethiopia.Our Gallery have a collection of authentic, original and traditional art from Africa. This collection including masks, statues, pottery, musical instruments, manuscripts, headrests and other antique, primitive art and various unusual items. All my items that I sell are old and (tribal) used. This site gives you an impression of our stock and activities. Authentic, museum quality African tribal art at wholesale prices. We strive to provide deeper public appreciation for high quality African art and to make it accessible to all collectors. High quality masks, carvings, statues, fetishes, animal figures, ritual objects and bronzes displayed here will add beauty to any home and value to any collection. In addition, an ever-growing demand for rapidly disappearing original African tribal art makes it a sound investment. As long-time experienced collectors, we carefully select and authenticate every artifact. Shown here are original, high quality, hand-crafted pieces made of wood or bronze which can be yours at a fraction of gallery prices! Years of traditional use added distinction to many of them. We guarantee the authenticity of every item and your complete satisfaction. We make every effort to research and document the history of each artifact. In our gallery you will find a nice selection of our stock.
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We are usually able to respond within 24 hours. Thank you for visiting our site! This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\African\Masks". The seller is "africa-gallery" and is located in this country: NL.
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