Saturday, July 28, 2012


photo © by Chad Finer
Jobai was also a Mende men's spirit or masquerader and although its appearance was totally unlike Goboi (see earlier post) and its behavior was less animated and to some degree slow and I guess serene, its purpose was again probably group control at gatherings and important visits by dignitaries. By virtue of its collapse as demonstrated in this triptych, Jobai was amusing and made people laugh. As it passed along at events, it would begin to collapse eventually reaching a nearly flat stage. It was made of raffia and headed by a very fancy headdress of brightly colored yarn. It would show up from time to time in our area when important events were going on. Here I found it in Kenema during the Kenema Cacao Festival in December 1968. 

photo © by Chad Finer

photo © by Chad Finer

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