This is a study of the art and cultural history of the Baga people. The Baga villages are situated on islands in the mangrove swamps along the coast of Guinea between the northern border and the city of Conakry, just under the western-most tip of the African continent. Throughout their history, they have suffered the incursions of foreign peoples and their ideas, and decades of religious and political oppression. Much of their cultural heritage has been lost or confiscated, yet they have preserved their cohesion by reconstituting a spiritual culture based on ritual, ceremony and secrecy and centred upon the role of their youth. The book explains and analyzes the ceremonies, initiations and dramas now enacted by the Baga as a reflection of their history, in a re-examination of a people who have come to terms with their turbulent past.