Africa | A Mende person wears the costume of the female demon "Sowei" in Sierra Leone | Image and caption © Charles & Josette Lenars

Mende costume of female demon Sowei, Sierra Leone, Africa image: Charles & Josette Lenars

“Madam Yoko or Mammy Yoko (ca. 1849–1906) was a leader of the Mende people in Sierra Leone. Combining advantageous lineage, shrewd marriage choices and the power afforded her from the secret Sande society, Yoko became a leader of considerable influence. She expanded the Mende Kingdom and at the time of her death, she was the ruler of the vast Kpa Mende Confederacy.”

Madam Yoko or Mammy Yoko (ca. was a leader of the Mende people in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone

Children carrying water home in the afternoon in the steep hills over Destruction Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone

OLDES Sierra Leone Women | Mende Bondo secret society women of Sierra Leone. Circa 1970. © by ...

The Yassi Society The Yassi is a society professedly for women, but it does not object to giving "medicinal treatment" to men of the Poro order.

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