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Temne Headdress Mask for the Ordehlay (Ode-Lay) or Jollay Society, Sierra Leone #980
- Temne Headdress Mask for the Ordehlay (Ode-Lay) or Jollay Society, Sierra Leone #980
- A rare carved wooden dance mask with a brilliant blue painted surface and stylized super-structure on the top of the mask, incised linear designs and coiffure.
- Measurements: The mask measure 19 inches tall.
Temne (Timni) peoples, North Western Sierra Leone, West Africa.
- Provenance: The Robert Banks Collection, Maryland.
- The Temne, who are related to the Baga, live in small Chiefdoms within Sierra Leone. Villages are socially regulated by Secret Societies such as the male Poro Society and the Female Bondo Association.
- A Kotu (masquerade builder) created this mask for a Temne Cultural Society, a kind of Mutual Aid Association. These masquerades emerged from Yorùbá practices transplanted from Nigeria to Sierra Leone during World War I. Cultural (or Masquerade) Societies and the Villages they support pride themselves on innovation. Masquerade Society masks have evolved to reflect new, international influences. The mask’s face shape and “fancy” aesthetic suggest it was created for entertainment.