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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Headress (D'mba)

Headress (D'mba)

A monument to motherhood, it was a feat to perform in this headdress-the masquerader was completely covered with a raffia and cloth costume and had to look out from the sight holes between the elongated breasts. Hoisted up high, she would move with sweeping splendor. One scholar interviewed Baga people as to her meaning and recorded many impressions, including "She is the vision of woman at her zenith of power, beauty and affective presence."

Wood, raffia
51 1/2 x 18 1/8 x 26 1/8 in. (130.8 x 46 x 66.4 cm)
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryLos Angeles, California, Frederick S Wight Gallery, University of California, African Art In Motion, January 20-March 17, 1974; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., April 21-July 30, 1974.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Selections From The Katherine White Collection, March 12-August, 1987

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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