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Shoulder Mask – Nimba, the Great Mother

Modeled on a mask made by the Baga people, Republic of Guinea, ca. 1935 

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Each of these wonderful wooden Nimba statuettes is unique: the Baga people of West Africa carved them by hand, inspired by ritual shoulder masks in the image of Nimba, the Great Mother. Collector Michael Weiss, who is close to the Baga, transferred these works into our hands, and by acquiring them we are helping the Baga support themselves. 

The Baga people live along the coast of Africa in Guinea-Conakry, on the continent’s western tip. Appreciated for their sophisticated beauty, their ritual sculptures were collected and displayed in major museums worldwide, inspiring Matisse, Picasso, and other artists. Michael Weiss spent a decade seeking out and collecting these traditional objects. Works from his collection are displayed alongside sculptures and Baga masks in the Museum’s holdings, in an exhibition that tells the story of his quest, the people he encountered, and the Baga’s cooperation with his cultural mission. 

The original object is on loan from the Dina & Michael Weiss Collection of African Art 


Small – approximately 15 cm in height

Medium- approximately 18 cm in height

Large- approximately 21 cm in height

Extra Large- approximately 45 cm in height

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