Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
 
Click on image above to zoom.

Nimba D'mba Shoulder Mask Headdress Baga Guinea Africa 42 Inch

Regular Price: $2,400.00

Special Price: $1,500.00

Product #: 74904
US Shipping: $199.98
Add Items to Cart


Title Nimba D'mba Shoulder Mask Headdress Baga Guinea Africa 42 Inch
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Guinea
People Baga
Materials Wood, iron ring
Approximate Age Mid 20th Century.
Dimensions Height: 42 Inches
Width: 15.5 Inches
Depth: 17 Inches
Overall Condition Fair to 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 Cracks in the back, chips in places


Additional Information:  The D'mba headdress is by far the most well known Baga work of art. It is a bust of a woman on four legs, and is worn over the head on the shoulders with a costume of raffia and cloth It represents an older woman who has given selflessly, and also represents community. Its use was documented as early as 1886. There are many traditional components: plaited hair, medial crest, flattened breasts, zigzag patterns, brass tacks.


The Baga people, a small group of 45,000, live along the coast of Guinea.The art of the Baga of coastal Guinea revolves around nature, the harvest and the veneration of feminine beauty. All of these vital social and spiritually important elements are combined in the D'mba, or "nimba."


Prescott has said:" Nimba is the joy of living; it is the promise of abundant harvest in the entire Bagata." The Nimba masks, often monumental works carried on the shoulders, rank among the largest of all ritual objects in West Africa. Their use, as hinted at above, is rather ubiquitous.


They are used at funerals, harvest festivals, and at initiations. Normally these "masks" have four legs or posts(for placement on the shoulders), and feature large noses and pendulous breasts, which hang close to the body. The carving would then be provided with a colorful and elaborate costume prior to use. Our mask is quite unique, having characteristic Nimba features, but lacking the "body" that is normally present. It is a finely carved and impressive piece.


The Baga people, a small group of 45,000, live along the coast of Guinea. The Baga moved to their current location as early as the 14thC. Their art is often quite abstract and spectacular, and is eagerly sought by collectors and revolves around nature, the harvest and the veneration of feminine beauty. All of these vital social and spiritually important elements are combined in the D'mba, or "Nimba." Prescott has said:" Nimba is the joy of living; it is the promise of abundant harvest in the entire Bagata."


For examples and a superb essay, red Lamp's ART OF THE BAGA.


I have examined this piece and agree with the description


Niangi Batulukisi, Ph.D.