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Tribal art > African mask > Baga mask

Baga mask (N° 22264)

This African mask features a stylized naja snake, around which a second snake is coiled in a figurative manner. Polychrome diamond patterns adorn its surface. Desication cracks. Abrasions.
Serpentiform African initiatory mask used mainly by the Bulongic (village of Kifinda), Baga subgroup of the Guinean coast, its size can go up to 2.50 m. These masks were divided into two groups with the names Mosolo kombo and Sangaran, each with specific functions. Their conception took shape in an esoteric context, at night within the forest. Privileges of initiated men, embodying a spiritual entity, the Baga Sangaran masks only attended circumcision, every 24 years according to ethnologist Denise Paulme. During certain dances the mask was placed on the head, held in balance by a bamboo structure and by the arms of the wearer himself covered with a fabric and a loincloth of raffia. Among the Baga Koba, the mask was worn on the shoulder, without a costume. In other groups, the mask appeared in different contexts.
The Baga live along the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Guinea, in West Africa. They are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Guinea, and have lived relatively isolated from their neighbors due to the vast swamplands that surround them.
(source: Baga, David Berliner)  

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OriginEx. collection belge Mercier
Height cm190
Width30 cm
Weight16.00 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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