Decorating with an African Baga Headress

Whether decorating a room or just looking for a piece to fill a certain space consider the power and grace of an African mask–a work of art.

Most African masks are created for  specific rituals.  Yet even while hanging on the gallery wall, a good mask maintains its power, exudes a certain energy by virtue of the artist’s skill.

A great example is the Baga headress.  The ultra thin nose, sagging breast and diagonally scored hair is emblematic of Baga art and makes a powerful statement in our gallery.  Though it looks like a statue, this weighty piece was actually worn as a mask.

The Baga live in Guinea far enough from the equator to experience the cycle of seasons and celebrate fertility rites at the end of the harvest.

In the agricultural ritual the headress is complimented by a full body costume comprised of fiber robes.  Surely a strain on the neck, the mask is surprisingly heavy.  Wearing the headress with his eyes peering out from between the sagging breast and covered from head to toe in fiberous robes the dancer would emerge from the fallow of the field and parade the headress through it.

Upon seeing the robed figure topped by the headress rising from the field the farmer and community would beg for protection and continued fertility, even if elsewhere these same people proclaim themselves  muslims.

This authentic and heavy Baga headress which is in good condition is available at the Hauser Gallery for $800.


About hausergallery

Hauser Gallery is an art gallery featuring Japanese art and fabric, African artifacts, jewelry, and more. Visit us at
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