Sierra Leone



Detail, Helmet Mask, 19th-20th century, Sierra Leone, Moyamba region, Mende or Sherbro peoples, wood, metal, 47.9 x 22.2 x 23.5cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Masks like this represent a guardian spirit and allude to an idealized female beauty in Mende and Sherbro culture.

Helmet Mask


Detail, Lidded Saltcellar, Sierra Leone, Sapi-Portugese, 15th-16th century, ivory, 29.8 cm high (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Ivory saltcellars were objects created for trade: they were African made and intended for the Portuguese market.

Lidded Saltcellar


Cotton hammock, early 20th century, Vai people, cotton, 213 x 125 cm, Sierra Leone © Trustees of the British Museum
Before motorized transport, male and female chiefs in Sierra Leone were transported in these elaborate hammocks.

Cotton hammock (Vai peoples)