[Arts] Guinea-Bissau and Bijagos






-Religious and traditional


-Made by villagers


-Not much of tourist art (Bijagos islanders produce carvings for the tourist markets.)

Painting of a woman from Guinea-Bissau





-Masks represent marine animals(hippopotamuses, sharks, or,wild bull.)


-Worn either on top of the head or in front of it.


-Dancers imitate these dangerous animals(symbolize beings that are still untamed).


-The masks are danced by boys and young men during the ceremonies before and after the phases of initiation.


-The heaviest masks are worn by the age group that is not yet considered adult.




Bijagos Warrior (Quilt)

                                   Sarah Ann Smith


“One day, a boat was leaving to go to a neighboring island-not a common occurrence. This man was on the boat and immediately caught my eye. Even then, when Bubaque had only had electricity for two years, it was unusual to see men dressed in a traditional manner. To me, he represents a vanishing way of life, and I wanted to capture that as well as his physical beauty.”


 Bijagos Warrior received an “Exceptional Merit” ribbon in the 2005 statewide Maine Quilts. 


Size: 40 x 60 in. Completed: June 2004




-Fiction in creole mostly from Guineas of Cape Verdean ancestry.


-Amilcar Cabral, whose speeches are still read today,  wrote about goals and theories about national liberation.






Musical rhythm: Gumbe


-Due to civil unrest and small group of people, this music style is practically only known or used in Guinea-Bissau


-Women dance to music while men keep the beat by hitting a water drum.


-Lyrics are humorous and also topical, challenging and talking about current problems and government authority.  





-Calabash Rattle (primary)


-Water Drum (men)