figure (ritual & belief: representations)

This is likely to be a wooden min or minsereh figure, though the term has broadly been used to refer to any carved female wooden figures. Min figures are traditionally used as part of the Yasi (Bullom) or Njayei (Mende) society for curing sickness, though they have also been associated with the Sande society. They contain spiritual power which is given to the figure by members of the society rather than the carver.

This example has a typical segmented neck and intricate hatched scarification marks incised into its stomach. It has two sets of wooden waist beads, and one set of white glass neck beads. The original catalogue identifies a 'horned headdress' however this is likely to refer to hair depicted as worn in two sets of bunches.

This is likely to be a wooden min or minsereh figure, though the term has broadly been used to refer to any carved female wooden figures. Min figures are traditionally used as part of the Yasi (Bullom) or Njayei (Mende) society for curing sickness, though they have also been associated with the Sande society. They contain spiritual power which is given to the figure by members of the society rather than the carver. This example has a typical segmented neck and intricate hatched scarification marks incised into its stomach. It has two sets of wooden waist beads, and one set of white glass neck beads. The original catalogue identifies a 'horned headdress' however this is likely to refer to hair depicted as worn in two sets of bunches.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk