“Sande” or “Boni” girls, Western Liberia / 1906
The Sande society is a women’s association found in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea that initiates girls into adulthood, confers fertility, instills notions of morality and proper sexual comportment, and maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.
In addition, Sande champions women’s social and political interests and promotes their solidarity vis-a-vis the Poro, a complementary institution for men.
The Sande society masquerade is a rare and perhaps unique African example of a wooden face mask controlled exclusively by women – a feature that highlights the extraordinary social position of women in this geographical region.
image via onyxearth