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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Baga

Nimba-headed Baga statue (N° 16616)

French tribal art collection.
This statue embodying a village spirit was used by the ancient baga to demand favor and protection of ancestors. A square in the centre of the village housed these statues, which were the subject of offerings. Some of them were used for divination. The head follows the structure of the Baga Nimba mask, whose busqué nose refers to the calao's beak, and an incised hair divided by a crest. This national symbol can reach up to 50 kg in its largest versions. Real name Demba / D'mba (or Nimba in baga language), it represents the nurturing woman, but also the fertility of the calao thanks to its beak-shaped nose. Supposed to increase harvests, arouse pregnancies, the mask is displayed at various ceremonies, celebrations and funerals.
Desication cracks, sparse abrasions. Damaged base.
Mixed with Nalu and Landuman, Baga live along the coast sail of Guinea-Bissau in flooded swamp regions six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku , which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they have created a powerful mask, hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest. The fundamental ritual among the Baga and their neighbours is the initiation that takes place every twenty-four years. The initiation society is called after the invoked spirit, or to-lom (sacred). .
Sources: "Baga" D.Berliner; M.Y. Curtis, 5Continents.  

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OriginColl. française Prodhomme
Height cm98
Width22 cm
Weight11.35 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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