Baga Simbondel headdress

Many collectors have never seen Simbondel headdresses. More likely they’ve seen Baga snake headdresses or Baga Nimba shoulder masks. Each of these magnificent sculptures are something you won’t want to miss. Sorry, the three scans are low-res and can’t be enlarged much.

The Baga people of West Africa have for centuries produced monumental works despite their small population and history of subjugation. They number no more than 40,000 in all, and live in several groups of villages along a 100-mile stretch of Guinea’s coast. They have never held major political power, and have been subjugated by others, both African and European. Not a people you would think important enough for outsiders to study and collect.

Except for their art. Over the centuries, they have created a body of art monumental in its proportions and more highly developed than that of much larger civilizations. Baga figures have been prized for more than 100 years by Western collectors who admired their sculptural power.

Bob, 1788, A

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