The Baham museum
Permanent exhibition
Country and history
Secret societies and religion
Costumes and textile art
Musical instruments
Receptacles and other containers
Kings and dignitaries
The artists
The figures of justice
Maternity, fertility and war
Itineraries of the collective memory

Maternity, fertility and war

Fertility, gestation and procreation are amongst the most obsessive subjects in various societies of the Grassland and in particular in Baham. This is reflected in art by the very frequent representation of women who are pregnant or carrying one or two children. The figures of fathers also carrying children are not uncommon. The image of the mother evokes and materialises, in the dynamic sense, the continuity that vibrates and marks the aim of life in Baham. Moreover, the theme of the mother with child is fairly common in African artistic production and is based on traditions dating back to prehistory. The figures of maternity from Baham appear in various forms: statues in the round, furniture, architectonic elements, musical instruments etc. Sub-themes linked to twins, fertility and birth are also to be found.

Museum of Baham . Maternity, fertility, war

Twins and their parents have played an important role in the social life and history of Baham and different kingdoms of the Grassland. Their figures appear in different artistic representations. Twins have founded several kingdoms or have been powerful kings. Twins and their parents are venerated in Baham and they are attributed with exceptional powers (healing, divination, clairvoyance). The rites and cults relative to twins are still very much alive.

The plastic themes of war and the warrior are very common in the arts of Baham. The warrior, whether he is a king, retainer, notable guardian-protector or a mythical being, appears in numerous forms. He can appear in the form of a figure holding a machete, a trophy head or a rifle. He can also wear a uniform: this is the case of certain works dating from the German colonial period. The king is considered a fighter who is always victorious and the artists exalt at times and exaggeratedly the warring miracles of the Baham people. The houses of the feu and of the major warriors were often decorated with the skulls of defeated enemies. The representations of warrior scenes commemorating military victories appear in doorposts, musical instruments and drums.


Statue of a woman with a child (maa mou)

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