Goboi headdress from south-eastern Sierra Leone. Central column, characteristically decorated by a patchwork of felt, coloured leather and wickerwork. It is surrounded by several flaps of raw hide, some decorated with embroidery and cowrie shells, and a layer of raffia.
This is the headdress worn by the Goboi masquerader who is associated with the men's Poro society in south-eastern Sierra Leone. Originally it would have been accompanied by a thick raffia skirt, covering the whole body of the dancer wearing it. The role of the Goboi is largely for entertainment, though like many masqueraders of West Africa it is also considered to be very powerful.