Tribal art > African Statues > Baga statue
Polychrome Baga maternity statue (N° 20594)
Exceptional dimensions, 2.70 meters high, for this Baga statue: embodying a protective entity to which sacrifices were periodically dedicated, this maternity figure collected in Guinea-Bissau embodies the concept of Baga beauty, sculpted with numerous details such as sophisticated hairstyles, necklaces and bracelets, and generous breasts. This type of female figure was generally linked to women's associations that only included women who had had at least one child, which is no longer the case today.
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Vivid polychrome patina. Abrasions, excellent condition except for erosions in the center of the base and at the top of the head.
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in swampy regions that are flooded six months a year. These Baga groups, who live on the coast and live from rice cultivation, are made up of seven sub-groups, including the Baga Kalum, Bulongic, Baga Sitem, Baga Mandori, etc... They believe in a creator god called Nagu, Naku, whom they do not represent, and who is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they created a powerful mask, a hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest. After the abandonment of the rites following Islamization, colonization, or conversions to Christianity, the Baga today seek to revive their traditions through festive ceremonies using the masks.
In parallel with the extinction of male initiations since the 1950s, women's societies organize ritual dance ceremonies during which possession and divination sessions frequently take place. These groups make use of sculptures, masks and caryatid drums.
Ref: "Baga Religious Memories" D. Berliner.
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|Material(s)||wood, corne, metal, textile|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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