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Bamun Helmet Mask Headpiece Cameroon Africa 22 Inch

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $350.00

Product #: 109952
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Title Bamun Helmet Mask Headpiece Cameroon Africa 22 Inch
Country of Origin Cameroon
People Bamun, Kom
Materials Wood
Approximate Age Second half 20th century
Dimensions Height: 22 Inches
Width: 15 Inches
Depth: 13 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Indiginous repairs,cracks, dirt, general wear


Provenance:  From the collection of Howard Gelb, St. Paul, MN collector of African Art, who was also a businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist. Mr. Gelb died in 2015, at the age of 96.


Additional Information: An extra-ordinary top-of-the-head mask, with bold facial features,  wide jowls, smiling mouth, broad nose, human ears.and carrying a hive-like structure on the top . The meaning and use of the holes in this top piece are not known. Identified with the Bamum  this mask shares stylistic relationships with the Bamileke, Bafumbum, the Fumbot  or even the Tikar and many other Western Grasslands groups, reflecting the complex transfer of style through trade and the travel of artists.  This mask is a strong well-carved-example of the art of Cameroon and carries symbolic meaning as well as aesthetic reflection of the artistically sophisticated Bamileke people.


Such A headpiece was worn on the head by retainers at the courts of various Grasslands kingdoms in Cameroon. Such masks appeared at ceremonies associated with planting and harvesting as well as other events celebrating the rulers or simply as entertainment for the king and his court. The Bamileke are among the artistic elite of the Cameroon Grassfields area. They are ruled by kings, and many of their masks are for royal festivities. For wonderful examples and more information, see Northern's EXPRESSIONS OF CAMEROON ART. Large head crests such as this were danced by retainers at the courts of various Grasslands kingdoms in Cameroon. They appeared at ceramonies associated with planting and harvesting as well as other events celebrating the ruler or simply as entertainment for the king and his court. 


For similar examples see Tamara Northern, Expressions of Cameroon Art. The Franklin Collection, 1986


See also  Paul Gebauer, 1979, ART OF CAMEROON, Oregon: Portland Art Association;Tamaran Northern, 1984, THE ART OF CAMEROON, Washington D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution