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Carved Polychrome Baga Bansonyi Snake Sculpture Headdress, Guinea 20th Century

About the Item

This is a Baga protective serpent, known in the literature under various names: Bansonyi, A-mantsho-na-tshol or Inap. In spite of of its aged look this particular carving is made for decorative purposes and has not been used ceremonially. The serpent here represented is said to be similar to the ferocious python which spirit called Ninkinanka is involved in curing infertility and droughts, bringing prosperity, wealth, and rain. During the initiation of young boys, the serpent mask is involved in protecting boys at circumcision. In some sub-groups of Baga people, it appears during the initiation of young girls. It also appears at funerals. This sculpture is worn on the top of the head, with a headdress to hold it fitting around the shoulders.
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 47 in (119.38 cm)Width: 16 in (40.64 cm)Depth: 16 in (40.64 cm)
  • Style:
    Tribal (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques:
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Date of Manufacture:
    circa 1980
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. This Baga sculpture has an attractive patina.
  • Seller Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU2165328038002
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