The Baga live on the Coast of Guinea, and are
named for the phrase “bae-raka,” meaning
“People of the Seaside.” They speak their own
language and also the Mande language, Susu.
The Baga are one of several groups of coastal
Guinea Bissau, and live in village environments
traditionally ruled over by clan heads. Their
economy is based upon rice agriculture and
fishing; the latter may have been secondarily
learned as oral tradition states that the Baga
people migrated from inland areas towards the
sea by a hostile invasion of their homelands.
Their traditional religion was forced out by the
arrival of Islam in the mid 20th century, leading
to a plethora of art objects arriving in western
markets. This boldly-posed figure is a rarity,
made by the Baga of Guinea Bissau. Its long
head, beak-like nose, and simplistic body
composition give this figure a distinctive look.