Tribal art > African mask > Snake Baga
Baga Bansonyi Snake Mask (N° 18633)
This African mask features a naja snake with dilated pupils. Losangic motifs of a now-extinct polychromy adorn its surface. Patina of matte and velvety use, locally abraded. Old room with granular residue.
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As african serpentiform initiation group used mainly by Bulongic (Kifinda village), a subgroup Baga on Guinean coastline, its size can be as large as 2.50 m. These masks were divided into two groups bearing the names Mosolo kombo and Sangaran , each with specific functions. Their design took shape in an esoteric context, at night in the forest. Privileges of initiated men, embodying a spiritual entity, the Baga Sangaran masks attended only circumcision, every 24 years according to the ethnologist Denise Paulme. During some dances the mask was placed on the head, balanced by a bamboo structure and by the arms of the wearer himself covered with a cloth and a raffia loincloth. At the Baga Koba, the mask was worn on the shoulder, without a suit. In other groups, the mask appeared in different contexts.
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