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.

Young people, British Museum curators and experts explore the ideas around the mask.

Related playlists

Downloads

Sowei Mask: part of the Talking Objects series

Download this video to watch in your favourite media player, or to view this video online please enable javascript.

Using this on a mobile device? Tap the image to watch.
On desktop, requires Flash player or click image to download.

Playlist

 

Ain Sakhri lovers figurine

What makes an object art?
Play video 

 

The Great Wave

How does a nineteenth century Japanese print connect with our world today?
Play video 

 

Throne of Weapons

What happens when weapons are transformed into art?
Play video 

 

Jade terrapin

Should beautiful objects be admired for their beauty alone?
Play video 

 

Swimming reindeer

How can a 13,000 year old carving connect with us today?
Play video 

 

Sikh fortress turban

Young people from the Sikh Educational Council explore the story of the turban
Play video 

 

Ife head

What does this sculpture from west Africa mean today?
Play video 

 

The Museum as object

Is the British Museum an object or a just a building full of objects?
Play video 

 

The nef, a mechanical galleon

A clock? A work of art? Why was the nef built and what was it meant to represent?
Play video 

 

Sowei mask

Exploring a mask from Sierra Leone
Play video