Rashaida mask from Sudan
Sudan, the Horn of Africa and Palestine
As part of the Egyptian exhibition, there are interesting pieces of traditional female clothing from the Rasheida people in Sudan and also from Palestine. A fine collection of silver jewellery and amulets from the Horn of Africa – Somalia and Ethiopia are also shown here. This is jewellery worn by both the Muslim and Christian people of this region.
The Rashaida people consider a woman’s nose and mouth as private body parts that are only to be shown to her husband and immediate family members. This mask not only covers the woman’s nose and mouth, but the whole face and the front of the body down to the waist, except the eye area. Rashaida women are known for their geometrically patterned dresses, and masks embroidered with silver thread and beads. This mask is also decorated with silver and gold coins. These masks come from Saudi Arabia, before the Rashaida people migrated to Sudan in the mid 19th century. See more of the artefacts from Sudan and the other ethnographic collections in the Museum’s online catalogue.