Offered by: Lobel Modern, Inc.
NYDC, 200 Lexington Ave., Suite 915 New York City, NY 10016 , United States Call Seller 212.242.9075


Pair of Serpent Headdresses by Baga artists from Guinea, Early 20th Century

$ 12,000
  • Description
    Pair of Serpent Headdresses (A-MANTSHO-NA-TSHOL) in carved wood with pigment by Baga artists, Guinea, Africa, early-20th century. From the Casamance region of Senegal to that of the Fouta Djallon in northern Guinea, the supreme manifesation of spiritual force is referred to as Ninkinanka. Associated with the danger of the boa constrictor and the allure of luminous rainbows, Ninkinanka may satisfy a petitioner’s deepest desires, whether for rain, worldly riches, or to be cured for infertility, but at potentially great cost. In Baga society, celebrations marking the culminatin of male initiation rites have evoked this force through an undulating column rising heavenward, referred to as the “master of medicine”, or a-Mantsho-na-Tshol.

    During the 1950’s, Baga communities underwent forced conversion to Islam that led to the abandonment of earlier religious and artistic traditions. A campaign of attacks against those practices resulted in the confiscation and sale or destruction of creations such as these. A decade later, indigenous religious practices were outlawed entirely by the Marxist nation government of Guinea’s first head of state, Sekou Toure. While no record exists of the once dynamic performance genre that incorporated such sculptures, they were likely positioned at the summit of a costume. Secured over the head of an especially strong dancer within a conical framework of palm branches. It was accented with decorative feathers and streamers.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, The African Origin of Civilization by Diana Craig Patch and Alisa LaGamma, Spring 2022. There is a photo of this same type of sculpture on page 40 with the description quoted above.

    Dimensions of Large Headdress:

    W: 12 inches
    D: 9 inches
    H: 83 inches

    Dimensions of Small Headdress:

    W: 13 inches
    D: 9 inches
    H: 61 inches
  • More Information
    Origin: Guinea
    Period: 1920-1949
    Materials: Wood, Pigments, Handcrafted
    Condition: Good. Condition: Excellent
    Creation Date: Early 20th Century
    Number of Pieces: 2-3
    Styles / Movements: Tribal, Modern
    Patterns: Animal/Insects, Handmade
    Dealer Reference #: sculpture165
    Incollect Reference #: 564903
  • Dimensions
    W. 12 in; H. 83 in; D. 9 in;
    W. 30.48 cm; H. 210.82 cm; D. 22.86 cm;
Message from Seller:

Lobel Modern was established by Evan Lobel in NYC in 1998 to promote important 20th century designers whose originality and exceptional craftsmanship and materials transformed their works into art. The gallery showcases period furniture, lighting, art, and decorative arts. Lobel Modern takes the condition of their inventory very seriously. If a work is not in original immaculate condition then it is restored by hand to the highest possible standards by Lobel Modern's artisans.

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