Details
Image number
CVL499522
Title
Serpent Headdress, late 1800s-early 1900s (wood & pigment)
Artist
Guinean / African
Location
Cleveland Museum of Art, OH, USA
Medium
wood and pigment
Dimensions
148 cms
Description
Traditionally, Baga society was ruled by village councils of elders who derived their power from their direct contact with spirit entities through lifelong initiation rituals and the accumulation of secret knowledge. Two different religious orders controlled initiations, providing the context for much Baga art. One was identified as female, the other as male, though only men belonged to both groups. Initiations in each order followed three stages, culminating in the revelation of the highest spirit being. This type of Baga headdress embodied the serpent spirit Ninkinanka, honoured for giving rain, bestowing riches, and bringing forth children. The serpent figure would be placed on top of a conical framework of palm branches carried on a male dancer’s head. It appeared at the end of the first level of the initiation for boys and girls or just before the circumcision at the beginning of the boys’ initiation.
Photo credit
© Cleveland Museum of Art / The Norweb Collection / Bridgeman Images
Keywords
/ guinea / snake / c20th / african / sculpture / wood / c19th / serpent / baga / statue / ninkinanka
Availability
Dimension [pixels] Dimension in 300dpi [mm] File size [MB]
Large 4000 × 9408 px 339 × 797 mm 10 MB
Medium 436 × 1024 px 37 × 87 mm 0 MB
Small 255 × 600 px 22 × 51 mm 0 MB
Copyright
In copyright
Permissions
PERMISSION REQUIRED FOR NON EDITORIAL USAGE

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