African art > Mask > Baga Mask

Baga janiform crest mask (N° 15001)

Baga religious practices and African art. Mixed with Nalu and Landuman , Baga live along the coast 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, a hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest.
The Baga use various crest masks in the image of young girls, the tiyambo evoking a young puberty and the yombifissa or "belle hair". The red color chosen for the skin is associated with idealized clear skin. The long hair gathered in braids refers to the hairstyle worn by Fulani women or limba. But this mask also refers to the iconography of the mermaids adorning the bow of foreign boats, especially when it appears in bust. This janiform piece, with fine faces worn by a ringed neck rising from a circular base, is also topped with a zoomorphic figure. These masks are often escorted by women singing songs in addition, during harvests, weddings, visits of digesters.
Vive patina polychrome locally chipped.
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). After the abandonment of rites following Islamization, colonization, or conversions to Christianity, the Baga now seek to revive their traditions through festive ceremonies using masks.
Source: U.022Baga" D.Berliner  

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OriginCollection Prodhomme
EthnyBaga
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood
Height57
Width16
Weight3.10 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1950
Socle inclusOptional

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