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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Baga : Baga Wooden Polychrome Sculpture of a Bird
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Baga Wooden Polychrome Sculpture of a Bird - PF.4809
Origin: Coast of Guinea
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 24.5" (62.2cm) high x 11.5" (29.2cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood and Paint

Location: United States
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The use of art for the well-being of others, whether symbolic or purely aesthetic, is the highest aspiration of the true artist. For people such as the Baga, art is a means to communicate with the unseen world in hopes to bring about a favorable relationship between spirits and human beings. This delightful sculpture is a work of art, but it is also a representation of fertility. It was used during agricultural ceremonies for the cultivation of rice. Women are the ones who plant the rice, and the fertility of woman and the soil is symbolized by the bird. The maternal aspect of this handsome sculpture is obvious with the two delightful babies clinging onto their mother's back. Their food source is shown in the long black snake, which one of the babies is biting, and the fish caught in the mother's mouth. In between the young birds is a house, which may represent the archetype village, nestled comfortably on the back of the great mother earth in the form of a pelican. The elegant beauty of this sculpture is not only attractive to look at, but it also gives a feeling of warmth and comfort, as if we too are secure in its presence. - (PF.4809)


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