Baga Snake


This is a Baga protective serpent, known in the literature under various names: Bansonyi, A-mantsho-na-tshol or Inap. The serpent represented is said to be similar to the ferocious python which spirit called Ninkinanka is involved in curing infertility and droughts, bringing prosperity, wealth, and rain. During the initiation of young boys, the serpent mask is involved in protecting boys at circumcision. In some sub-groups of Baga people, it appears during the initiation of young girls. It also appears at funerals. These sculptures are worn on the top of the head, with a headdress to hold it fitting around the shoulders.

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