African, Guinea, Baga peoples
Object Place: Guinea
Overall: 71 x 18 x 20 cm (27 15/16 x 7 1/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The Baga, who occupy the inland waterways of Guinea near the Atlantic Ocean, have a number of masking traditions. This headdress may be a representation of a new bride (Zigiren-Wonde?) and would have been used during marital ceremonies. The pendulous breasts are a reference to fertility, which were left exposed during the performance. The rest of the headdress, as well as the dancer, were shrouded in cloth.
1960, sold by Tony Ciolkowski, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)
Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart