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Baga Landuma Horizontal Tabakan Mask Guinea 33 inch Africa

Regular Price: $690.00

Special Price: $190.00

Product #: 84128
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Title Baga Landuma Horizontal Tabakan Mask Guinea 33 inch Africa
Type of Object Horizontal Mask
Country of Origin Guinea
People Baga/ Landuma
Materials Wood
Approximate Age second half  20th Century
Dimensions 33 inches L. x 8.5 inches W. x 9 inches D.
Overall Condition Good.   Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Chips to the back , crack in crest, scratches

 Certificate of Authenticity Available !

Addition Information: A well carved  headpiece very similar to those found among the Baga and Landuma people. Such a sculpture steeped in local mythology and secrecy.  It served not only as a headpiece with a grass (raffia) costume that reached to the ground covering the dancer but was also kept on a shrine (altar) as an important object endowed with magical powers.

The headpiece does not represent a specific being or animal but is a mythic and symbolic composite.  Despite the bovine style horns and extended face the mask known as Tonkongba among the Baga and Tabakan among the Landuma people, the mask-headpiece is said to be a creature from the sea.  It was also called Namba among the neighboring Nalu. However in much of the literature it is identified with the Landuma.    Tonkongba was a secretive mask, little known and much feared by the people.  Appearing at funerals and dances of other masks it served as a validating symbol for initiations and served as something of town crier spreading news. It knows the future and could discuss contemporary affairs.  The mask prosecuted wrongdoers, cured those ill and protected the young boys who were particularly vulnerable to spirits during their initiation into adult society. Tonkongba was a mask to be respected and feared as villagers would make offerings to it and in fact might attach offerings to its costume.  In this instance it became literally a living shrine!  

Recommended Reading:

D. Paulme, African Sculpture (London, 1962)

D. Paulme: ‘Structures sociales en pays Baga’, Bull. Inst. Fr. Afrique Noire, xviii/1–2

       (1956), pp. 98–116

P. Meauzé: African Art (Cleveland, 1968)

D. Paulme: ‘Head (Elek)’, For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and

                   Ruth Tishman Collection, ed. S. Vogel; (New York,1981), pp. 58–9

D. T. Niane, ‘Nimba: Goddess of Fertility in Baga Land’, Afrique Hist., i (1982),

                    pp. 63–4

F. Lamp,  ‘The Art of the Baga: A Preliminary Inquiry’, African Arts, xix/2 (1986),

                pp. 64–7, 92

F, Lamp,   Art of the Baga.  (New York,1996)


I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.