Lot: 194

101st Auction

Anthropo-zoomorphic headdress "banda" or "kumbaruba"

Guinea, Nalu / Baga

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Private Collection, Oslo, Norway L: 48.8 inch 2500 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, colour pigments, missing part, rest.

This type of headdress was used by both the Nalu and the culturally close Baga. It was called "banda" by the Nalu and "kumbaruba" by some Baga groups.

The mask type is a complex composite of human and animal forms.

Historical documentation suggests that "banda" originally carried an extremely sacred significance. It seems that "banda" represented a high and powerful spiritual being who appeared in times of danger to protect people.

Today, "banda" is danced only for entertainment. The large and heavy headdresses are carried horizontally on the head by young men. The strictly defined choreography culminates in dizzying turns, which demands a lot of strength and body control from the dancers.