BUNDU: Sowei Headpieces of the Sande Society of West Africa

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9781936658107: BUNDU: Sowei Headpieces of the Sande Society of West Africa

From the time of the first European contact with Africans on the West African coast that is now Sierra Leone and Liberia there had been reports of the presence of a women's initiation comprehensive survey and analytical review of the historical literature surrounding this society, supplemented by field observations made by one of the authors in the 1960s and 1970s. The text includes an important compendium of 47 field photographs ranging from the first ones taken by Thomas Joshua Alldridge in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to some taken in 2011. These field photographs, covering as they do more than a century of visual documentation of the Sande Society's public activities, greatly enhance the text. BUNDU or Sande masks present a fascinating study for African art since they must all conform to certain basic norms and be immediately recognizable as masks for this women's society.

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