Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Bondo at Dama Road in Kenema - 1969

© by Chad Finer

Taken at 55 Dama Road in Kenema - these two images show both front and rear view of the Bondo Spirit (or Devil) as it passed by during Bondo activity. The spirit and symbol of the women's Bondo Society this was the devil that I found most interesting. The helmet mask was made of a carved soft hardwood, and its dress mostly of indigo dyed palm raffia (from the leaf of the raffia palm). It was my friend Patrick Garlough who showed me how raffia was made - a very labor intensive process I was to learn. It was the Bondo music that I found beautiful, if not haunting. The harmonies were soothing and mesmerizing.

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