Female Headdress (Nimba, D'mba, or Yamban)

A work made of wood and brass tacks with traces of pigment.

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  • A work made of wood and brass tacks with traces of pigment.

Date:

Mid–19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Baga
Guinea
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Baga people have made headdresses like this one, which portrays an ideal of mature womanhood, since at least the 17th century. The woman depicted here is formidable, with a prominent nose, jutting chin, strong neck, and large breasts that once nurtured her young. Decorative lines—at one time accentuated by brass tacks—embellish her face, neck, and chest, and short vertical lines representing scarification are incised high on her cheeks. Today such headdresses are cherished representations of Baga ethnicity and are worn with costumes in entertainment masquerades. Massive and heavy, they require great strength from the young men who dance in them.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Baga

Title

Female Headdress (Nimba, D'mba, or Yamban)

Origin

Guinea

Date

1850–1925

Medium

Wood and brass tacks with traces of pigment

Dimensions

119.4 × 33 × 59.1 cm (47 × 13 × 23 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

W. G. Field Fund, Inc.; Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson

Reference Number

1957.160

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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