Naming the Sowei mask

Unique to the region around Sierra Leone, sowei masks are worn by senior members of the all-female Sande Society during rite-of-passage ceremonies that signify a girl’s transition to adulthood. This display explores the cultural interaction that influenced the mask’s form and examines the ubiquity of sowei masks in museums around the world.

Before going on display, members of the Sierra Leonean community in London asked that they conduct a ceremony to give the mask a name.


Find out more about the exhibition 

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Sowei mask: spirit of Sierra Leone

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