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A society for both men and women among the Sherbro or southern Bullom people of Sherbro island. Two pairs of masks are associated with the society: a pair of wooden helmet masks, more or less human in form, painted in bright colours, and worn with a long cape of undyed raffia; and a contrasting pair of wooden zoomorphic masks painted in the same bright colours and also worn with a long cape of undyed raffia. There are oral traditions that this masquerade came originally from the 'Baga', which may however be a reference to the Temne.

  • [There is no single work that covers the history of the Temne as a whole. Paul Hair makes a number of suggestive remarks about the 16th century Temne in the notes and commentaries that accompany his translations of 16th and 17th century Portuguese texts but they are not drawn together in a connected narrative. Other researchers (Songo-Davies, Dorjahn, Ijagbemi, Lenga-Kroma) content themselves with describing the historical origins of individual Temne chiefdoms. This may of course say something about the Temne themselves: that they are not a homogeneous people so much as a number of culturally overlapping but largely autonomous rural communities.]
  • H.U.Hall, The Sherbro of Sierra Leone (Philadelphia 1937)
  • C.P.MacCormack, 'Proto-social to adult: a Sherbro transformation', in C.P.McCormack & M.Strathern, eds., Nature, Culture and Gender (Cambridge 1980), 95-118.