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The Dancing Sowei: Performing Beauty in Sierra Leone
This exhibition focuses on one spectacular work in the Cantor’s collection—a sowei mask, used by the women–only Sande Society that is unique to Sierra Leone. Used in dance by senior women of the society, the sowei mask symbolizes knowledge of feminine grace and is part of a young girl’s initiation into adulthood. Thus, for many women of the region, beauty is literally performed into existence through ndoli jowei (the dancing sowei or the sowei mask in performance).
IMAGE: Gola or Mende artist (Sande Society, Sierra Leone), Helmet Mask (sowei or ndoli jowei), 1920s-1930s. Wood, leopard tooth, kaolin, and fiber. Gift from the collection of Marc and Ruth Franklin
Ongoing every day from March 21, 2018 through March 2, 2019.
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Cantor Arts Center, just off Palm Drive, at Museum Way and Lomita Drive Map
Cantor Arts Center: Open Wed-Mon, 11am - 5pm, Thurs until 8pm. CLOSED TUES
- General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends, Members
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