African art > Statues > Baga Fetish
Fetish bust Baga Nalu (N° 16863)
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded six months a year. These Baga groups based on the coast and living from rice farming are made up of seven subgroups, including the Baga Kalum, Bulongic, Baga sitem, Baga Mandori, etc. 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 snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, with the aim of communicating with the spirits of the forest. 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. In parallel with the extinction of male initiations since the 1950s, women's societies have organized danced ritual ceremonies in which possession and divination sessions are frequently held. These groups make use of caryatid sculptures, masks and drums.
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The bust of this female figure is wrapped in textiles and large canvas, and, under a horn held by colorful woolly ties, a protective magic charge has been slipped into the anterior pocket. This object was probably used as a private altar figure. Patine mate.
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|Origin||Col. française Prodhomme|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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