Along the Peninsula Road south of Freetown, Sierra Leone, grand homes under perpetual construction (owners build as they get money) are a constant sight. This creates jobs, and improvised housing mushrooming along the deeply potholed road.
A mask sometimes embodies ideals of physical and moral beauty or goodness. Here, the high forehead, downcast eyes, and elaborate coiffure suggest the pinnacle of female attractiveness among the Mende people. One of the very few types of masks worn by women in Africa, it accompanied young girls who had undergone initiation into the Sande association that prepared them for adulthood. The dyed raffia attached to the mask was part of a larger costume that would have entirely covered the dancer.