The iconic Baga Snake, which has been carved from a single

length of wood, comes from the isolated Baga region in the lowlands of the Republic of Guinea (West Africa).

In Baga, frequent floods provided a hunting and breeding ground for large colonies of water snakes. As a result, the snake turned into a kind of totem animal among the Baga peoples.

The Baga Snake, “Bansonyi,” normally displayed as an upright static sculpture is in reality a headdress representing the spirit “A-Mantsho-na-Tshol.” With the help of a light framework, the towering polychrome decorated serpent is held on the shoulders of a dancer. The Bansonyi is involved in protecting male initiates at circumcision; it is used during

droughts as well as appearing at funerals in groups as a male and female pair. It is thought that the Bansonyi itself symbolizes a reconciliation between the aquatic world and the jungle, between east and west or the two halves of the village.

Exceptional Baga snakes are very scarce and seldom come to market. Round serpentine curves are most desirable and adds value to the piece.

There are pieces of Baga Snakes in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris.

Now you can see the legendary Baga snake also on Mallorca, in the Sa Bassa Blanca Museum! It is part of the guided tour of the Hassan Fathy House.

Located in Alcudia, Majorca, Spain, Sa Bassa Blanca Museum (msbb) is a museum fully integrated in a Protected Area declared Wildlife Sanctuary.
msbb - Sa Bassa Blanca Museum


Museo Sa Bassa Blanca

Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober

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