Bundu Mask
Mende peoples, Sierra Leone
Late 19th - early 20th Century
Provenance: Ladislas Segy, one of the early dealers in African Art in New York.
 
Bundu Masks are worn exclusively by women. This mask presents the ideal of feminine beauty. This example exhibits strong facial features, a large forehead, and an elaborate hairstyle, mimicking popular hairstyles in the region. This mask's rich black patina is the product of extended libations which have been used on the surface of the mask to make it glisten, representing healthy, glowing skin. Unlike many male masks, the neck is represented as swelling fleshy rolls, considered beautiful and signifies fertility. The mask's base exhibits large irregular square holes where fibrous material was once attached.
 
H: 18 in.
IN 03-8-15/ Price on request