African art > Mask > Banda Mask
Banda Baga / Nalu mask (N° 17868)
Besides the famous Nimba mask, Les Baga created a powerful mask, here anthropozoomorphic, hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest, and which they wore obliquely on the head. Surface mate polychrome, erosions and imprints of eradicated xylophages, desication cracks.
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Mêlés in Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded 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 , depicted by a large cage covered with raffia whose top is a bird's head. Tribal mask used for protective purposes, the banda dance for farmers in rice paddies to protect them from snakes. It also dances to protect against human malevolence and especially for young people during initiation into the rituals of transition from adolescence to adulthood. Finally, this mask dances by imitating all the attitudes of the animals represented. The Toma Dandai mask in central Guinea has similarities.
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