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Baga Bird Mask Long Beak Guinea African Art

Product #: 99660
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Title Baga Bird Mask Long Beak Guinea Africa
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Guinea
People Baga
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 14.5 inches tall x 5.5 inches wide x 6 inches deep
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 scrapes, scratches, dirt and general wear

Additional Description: A striking example of the known bird form from the Baga people.  The form is that of a hornbill bird which is associated with benevolent spirits across several African cultures.  The beak is long and downward facing, and the face is decorated with geometric patterns and colored pigments.  The eyes are raised and oval shaped.  

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.

Recommended Reading:

Lamp, F. Art of the Baga. A Drama of Cultural Reinvention The Museum for African Art. Prestel, 1996.