Mobile menu

Nimba (or D’mba) (Shoulder helmet mask) c.2005

Wood | 41.0 x 14.0 x 18.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 95893

Your share link is...


A carved wooden
model headdress or Nimba, of the d'mba form
found among the Baga people of Guinea.

In the form of a stylised female, with four slender legs, pendulous breasts and an
enlarged head with a long pointed nose and
protruding chin.

Headdresses of this type were worn over the shoulders by a dancer during wedding and harvest celebrations. The heavy
masks obscured the dancer's face, and were accompanied by
large raffia costume. The stylised female form represents motherhood and femininity, the pendant breasts indicating the nursing of many children.
This is a reduced size version of a Nimba mask.
The figure is a mature woman but she is used in ceremonies relating to agricultural fertility rather than human fertility.