The Sande society is the female counterpart of the Poro society. Also known as the zadεgi, bundu, bundo and bondo, this women’s secret society in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast is said to initiate girls into adulthood by rituals such as female genital mutilation. Some allege that the group confers fertility, instills morality and proper sexual comportment, and maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.
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The Sande society is known to champion women’s social and political interests through solidarity and complementarity to the Poro society. For example, its masquerade is one of the only African examples of a wooden face mask controlled exclusively by women.