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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Serpent Figure Headdress(bansonyi)

This serpent headdress, known as "master of medicine", is one of the most important figures in Baga cosmology. The serpent is associated with water, rainbows, fertility and wealth and can manifest itself as a being with human features. Spiritually potent objects such as this one could only be...

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By 1960, Galeri Carrefour, Paris France; 1960, sold by Galerie Carrefour to Geneviève McMillan, Cambridge, MA; gift of McMillan to MFA. (Accession Date June 17th, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Guinea, Baga peoples, 20th century

Object Place



Overall: 175 x 18 x 20 cm (68 7/8 x 7 1/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, paint


Africa and Oceania


Decorative arts