Baga people

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The Baga people live in the coastal area of Guinea. They can be subdivided into five groups of which Landouma is the largest, accounting for fifty percent of all ethnic Bagas. Apart from the various Baga languages, most of the Baga also speak the Mande language Susu, the regional trade language. Two Baga communities are known to have abandoned their language altogether in favour of Susu, namely the Sobané and Kaloum. The name Baga is derived from the phrase bae raka, “people of the seaside.”

Baga oral tradition is that the Baga people were driven from the interior to the coastal areas by competing tribes.

Baga ritual art, such as the "D'mba" (or "Nimba") headress, has been widely shown in western museums.


  • Mouser, Bruce L. (2002) “Who and where were the Baga?: European perceptions from 1793 to 1821,” History in Africa, 29, 337–364.
  • Cotter, Holland "A Culture Ignored Except for Its Icons" New York Times, October 25, 1996

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