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Tribal art > African Statues > Baga Mask

Large Baga Bansonyi Mask (N° 18102)

Remarkably large, this baga mask depicts a naja snake with dilated pupils, erect and ready for attack. A snake-patterned embossed ridge further divides it along the entire length. Polychrome orange motifs adorn its surface. This piece is exceptional for the presence of 'mamelles' on the back of the swollen area. Desication cracks. Polychromy intact but locally abraded. Old room.
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.
The Baga live along the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. They form one of the smallest ethnic groups in Guinea, and have lived relatively isolated from their neighbours because of the vast swamps that surround them.
(source: Baga , David Berliner)  

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OriginColl. française Prodhomme
EthnyBaga
CountryGuinée
Material(s)wood
Height236
Width37
Weight31.00 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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