African art > African mask > Baga Mask

Baga Snake Mask (N° 18833)

This African mask shows a Naja snake with dilated pupils. Polychrome diamond patterns decorate its surface. Erosions. Ancient piece.
African serpentiform initiatory mask used mainly by the Bulongic (village of Kifinda), sub-group Baga of the Guinean coast, its size can be up to 2.50 m. These masks were divided into two groups with 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 the initiated men, embodying a spiritual entity, the Baga Sangaran masks only attended the circumcision, every 24 years according to the ethnologist Denise Paulme. During certain dances the mask was placed on the head, kept in balance by a bamboo structure and by the arms of the wearer himself covered with a cloth and a raffia cloth. Among the Baga Koba, the mask was worn on the shoulder, without 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 in relative isolation from their neighbors due to the vast swamps that surround them. ( source : Baga , David Berliner )  

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OriginCollection Prodhomme
EthnyBaga
CountryGuinée
Material(s)wood
Height185
Width18
Weight4.00 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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