Baga (Bagga), Guinea
Stool with seat supported by eight sitting Nimba. Today, the
Baga people, 60,000 in total, occupy the northern coast of Guinea. They live in the marshy area flooded
six months of the year, during which time the only way to get around is by a dugout canoe.
They live in villages divided into two to four quarters, which are in turn divided into
five or six clans. Traditionally, the village is headed by the eldest member of each clan.
This magnificently appointed stool validated the right of the ruling elder of each clan,
he who is seated on a stool, and provided sharp contrast with the general
seating on the ground for nonelders. Eight supporting figures belong to
the most important class of cult objects made by the dominant Simo secret society and represent Nimba, the goddess of fertility. They have been used in rituals to generate
fertility in a woman, a rice field or a palm grove, and was also believed to give
protection to pregnant women.
H. 15, Diameter 17