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Headdress (Zigiren-Wɔndɛ)

Arts of Africa

This headdress is known as zigiren-wunde, or “the new bride.” Entirely secular in nature, it celebrates the role of Baga women in both human and agricultural fertility, and in nurturing the community.

The zigiren-wunde is owned and performed by groups of young men solely for entertainment, especially at weddings. The performer wears it on top of the head, grasping the leglike projections at the base of the mask to steady it. These “shoulders” are draped with cloth, leaving the figure’s breasts exposed, and the costume is completed with the addition of a skirt of palm fiber.
MEDIUM Wood, upholstery stud
  • Place Made: Guinea
  • DATES late 19th–early 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 33 x 7 3/4 x 9 in. (83.8 x 19.7 x 22.9 cm) Base height: 2 in. (5.1 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Marcia and John Friede
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Possibly Baga. Headdress (Zigiren-Wɔndɛ), late 19th–early 20th century. Wood, upholstery stud, 33 x 7 3/4 x 9 in. (83.8 x 19.7 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Marcia and John Friede, 74.66.5. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 74.66.5_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 74.66.5_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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