Lot: 15

Helmet mask "ndoli jowei" of the "sande" (or "bundu") society

Sierra Leone, Mende, Sogande von Fuinda

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Erik Karlstrand (*1902-?), Stockholm, Sweden (coll. in situ, between 1932-1940)
Karlstrand Family Estate
Thomas Halling, Lund, Sweden (acquired around 2010 from the above)
Peter Willborg, Stockholm, Sweden

The Lundgren&Karlstrand company, founded in 1933, imported mainly coffee and cocoa. Karlstrand made many trips to both Africa and Latin America.
H: 16.1 inch 3000 EUR / 6000 EUR

wood, For masks of the same master/workshop see AHDRC 0114239, 0114250 and 0128402. All these masks show similarities in physiognomy, tattoos and hairstyle. They all carry superstructures with prominent fish representations. In his essay about carvers of the Sande, Lamp reports about "Sogande of Fuinda", who worked in the Kenema District from 1930 to 1950 or earlier and died around 1968. According to Lamp, this particular mask might probably be a work of this master. The highest ranking officials of the "sande" are known als "sowei", and the mask is known as "ndoli jowei" (literally "dancing sowei"). It embodies the guardian spirit of the society and represents "sande" at all major public occasions, from funerals to important visits or installations of chiefs.


Frederic John Lamp, "By their fruits you will know them, Sande mask carvers identified, in: Grootaers, Jan-Lodewijk & A. Bortolot, Visions from the Forest, Seattle, London 2014, p. 56-81