Carved Palette

This is a wooden palette with a carved female head, used for mixing hojo, a cosmetic or medicine of white clay, or kohwoso, and animal fat. The hojo is used for painting the faces of girls being initiated into the Sande, or Bundu, societies. This mixing palette is oval in shape, and sites on a raised platform. This was originally part of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum collection, originally acquired at Glendinnings Auction Rooms, London, in 1934. It was acquired by the British Museum in 1954.

Related Videos

Further Information

  • Type: Toilet/cosmetic equipment, Religious/ritual equipment, charms
  • Object: Carved Palette
  • Materials: Wood, Vegetable, organic fibre
  • Culture Group: Mende
  • Dimensions: 360mm [L] x 100mm [W] x 850mm [C]
  • Production Date: Pre 1954
  • Associated Places: Unknown
  • Associated People: Wellcome Historical Medical Museum
  • Museum: British Museum
  • Accession Number: BM:Af.1954.23.3027

Related Objects


Body adornment, jewellery, Musical instruments, Religious/ritual equipment, charms

Leopard Society Claw

Religious/ritual equipment, charms, Weapons, armour

Medicine Horn

Religious/ritual equipment, charms

Gbangbani Trumpet

Religious/ritual equipment, charms, Musical instruments, Figures, sculpture

Horn Amulet

Religious/ritual equipment, charms