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+

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