|Title||Baga Snake Bansonyi Sculpture Guinea African Art 59 Inch|
|Type of Object||Carving, statue, figure|
|Country of Origin||Guinea|
|Materials||Wood, Pigment., Paint|
|Approximate Age||second half 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 59.5 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 6.5 Inches
base is 12 inches square; sculpture is 60 inches tall on base
|Damage/Repair||cracked, with some reminents of dried dead lichen. chips, gouges, and some evidence of arrested bug damage|
Custom base included as shown!
Additional Information: This is a Baga protective serpent, known in the literature under various names: Bansonyi, A-mantsho-na-tshol or Inap. 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 was worn on the top of the head, with a headdress to hold it fitting around the shoulders. This is a very good example of Baga snake headdress showing some age. It would hold a prominent place in a collection.
See a similar example in Phillips' AFRICA: THE ART OF A CONTINENT on p. 476; See also a similar example in the collection of Cleveland Museum of Art published in the catalogue SOUTH OF THE SAHARA. SELECTION WORKS OF AFRICAN ART. THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART (by Constantine Petridis), fig. 12; ART OF THE BAGA (by Frederick Lamp), fig, 37a-b, p. 53