|Title||Baga Female Torso Mask Maternity Guinea African|
|Country of Origin||Guinea|
|Approximate Age||second half 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 14.5 Inches
Width: 6.75 Inches
Depth: 5.5 Inches
|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||General wear, chip in bottom, old arrested bug damage.|
Additional Information: The female is shown as a mature woman who has borne children as seen by the firmless of the breasts. The stomach is extended in a possible play upon the idea of fertility as her arms reach across her abdomen where the hands clasp. Reflecting a later style of carving the figure does show some wear . If truly a Baga torso mask, this piece would be identified with Zigiren-Wonde mask and ritual device.
The Baga are a small West African ethnic group living in a coastal area of swamps and inland waterways in Guinea bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The term Baga identifies not only a people or an area but also equally identifies shared cultural traditions and art forms with neighboring Nalu and Landuma and the dominant Susu people. Sculpture from the Baga people along the Atlantic seaboard has been known and documented for an extended period of time as early as the middle of the nineteenth century. Baga art traditions have developed over a long period of time and continue today despite religious conflicts with the numerous conversions to Islam and resulting pressures upon traditional figurative sculpture.
Lamp, F. Art of the Baga. A Drama of Cultural Reinvention The Museum for African Art. Prestel, 1996.