Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

sowei mask
  • unknown Bassa maker
  • sowei mask, mid-late 1900s
  • Where object was made: Liberia
  • wood, pigment, palm oil, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 38 x 26.5 x 28.5 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 14 15/16 x 10 3/8 x 11 1/4 in
  • Gift of Jill Zinn
  • On view: Loo Gallery, 401, C7
  • 2007.2922
Label Text

The dark brown helmet mask has a diamond shaped face with a pointed chin. The eyes appear closed. It has a small nose and mouth. Each cheek has three diamonds in a row and there are three vertical stripes lateral to each eye. It has small ears. There are three large ridges around the neck. The elaborate hair style consists of braids directed back over the top of the head and around the sides, with four horn-like elements on top. A band of short, pointed locks extends from one ear to the other.