Hojo is a white clay that Sande women use to
mark their territory. The clay comes from the water like many
other aspects of Sande. Its smooth, shinny, surface reflects light making
it eye catching and beautiful. Hojo is found in a scale of colors from
beige to pure white. The pure white Hojo is more rare, found only deep
beneath the surface. Hojo and Sande are parallel in that they are both well
hidden and secretive in its purest form.
White is the color of Sande. The pureness of white
signifies the cleanliness and absence of imperfections. "It shows a
'harmlessness'; it is void of all things satanic and is thus 'a positive and
helpful color.'" (Boone p 21) White is symbolic of the spirit world and also of
the secret parts of society where people aim for the highest standards.
Objects and people that are marked with Hojo are
under Sande protection and control and are subject to
authority of Sande law and punishment. Initiates are colored
with this white clay to show that they are property of Sande. This
signifies that they are under the protection of Sande and should not be
fooled with. Sowei; the judge of women wears white to represent clear
thinking and justice.
a young initiate painted with Hojo