This beautiful piece features a kneeling woman with her arms raised, above her are 4 smaller figures that support the drum. This piece was hand carved in the style of the Baga people. Baga drums like this were carved by men but used by women who were apart of an important society known as A-Tekan.
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Wood, pigment, leather
50.5" Figure, 53" w/ Base
Possible minor imperfections and wear & tear, including but not limited to scuffing, cracking and minimal chipping. Possible previous repairs. See photos or inquire for more details.
About the Baga People
The Baga people live amid the southern swampy lands of the Guinea Atlantic coastline. According to oral tradition, they originally lived along the interior highlands but were driven westward by their neighbors. The name ‘Baga’ is believed to have come from the phrase ‘bae raka’, meaning “people of the seaside”.
Read more about the Baga here.
About the Baga Caryatid Drum
Drums of this sort are referred to a ‘a-ndef’. Although they are carved by men, they are owned, used and designed by baga women of an important society known as A-Tekan. Women will play thse drums at ceremonies, funerals and their week-long initiations to inform the supernatural and ordinary worlds of their power and presence. The core criteria to enter in these societies is motherhood, a woman’s main objective in life. Her kneeling position represents and act of devotion while the large drum on her head is likely inspired by real practices of Baga women who carry large vessels on their heads often.