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MD African Art

Baga Snake

Baga Snake

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This is a Baga protective serpent, known in the literature under various names: Bansonyi, A-mantsho-na-tshol or Inap. The serpent 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. These sculptures are worn on the top of the head, with a headdress to hold it fitting around the shoulders.Around 50,000 Baga live along the coastal lagoons of southern Guinea-Bissau.

They mainly grow rice in this marshy area that is flooded six months out of the year, during which time the only way to get around is by canoe. Generally, the Baga village is divided into two halves or clans but can contain up to eight. The two main clans are called Kamana and Bangura. Traditionally each village was headed by the eldest member of each clan, who met secretly.

Date/Period: 19th Century

Origin: Guinea, Africa

Dimensions: 11in X 12in X 73in

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