Africa

Baga Nimba mask from the Guinea coast

Most of us call this female headdress a Nimba, but the real spelling is D’mba. When danced in a village ceremony, a tall man puts it over his shoulders and holds it by the bottom of the front legs. The neck and head show up very high off the ground. The dancers body is completely hidden by cloth and raffia. When not being danced, it can be displayed as a spirit figure. Collectors love them, but they are so big, difficult to carve and expensive to ship that we don’t see many of them in the USA. This authentic piece was sold by Sotheby’s to a museum a few years ago for a lot of money.

The Baga people live along most of the Guinea coast in West Africa. Even though they make the most diverse group of outstanding masks in all of Africa, they were poorly understood until Frederick Lamp published Art of the Baga in 1996. If you like African masks, this is a must.  A+

One Comment

  • Scott Caradine

    I have a collection of tribal art inherited from
    My uncle, who collected tribal art in the early 70’s by hiring a guide and paddling rivers and hiking in different countries throughout regions of Africa. He used his business in Paris to help ship items back to NYC where he displayed his collection in a Manhattan apartment.
    I am now having trouble finding a home for this stuff. Sothebys and Christie’s did not seem interested in selling any of it, as they said there was too much of it on the market. I think there are some interesting pieces- one very similar to this mask in the above note you wrote.
    I’d love to discuss with you if you had time to take a look at my collection.
    Please reach out to the email provided if you have any interest or can help.

    Trying to load a photo here but having trouble. I can send to your email if provided.
    Thanks,
    Scott

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