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Bangwa Couple Cameroon Africa on Stands 33 Inch

Regular Price: $1,290.00

Special Price: $950.00

Product #: 100241
US Shipping: $202.98
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Title Bangwa Couple Cameroon Africa on Stands 33 Inch
Type of Object Carving, figure
Country of Origin Cameroon
People Bangwa
Materials wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Male 33.5 Inch, female 35 Inch
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 Male cracks in front , leg; female cracks in arm


Additional Information:    The art of the Cameroon Grasslands is a royal art, with most objects produced for the court. There are carved images of the "Fon," or royal chief, and his family, as well as ornate non-statuary objects made in his honor. Our sculptures represent a royal couple, and the artistry and patina are outstanding, particularly when viewed in profile. The carving is more intricate and dimensional than one usually finds, and much thought went into their creation. They also have the menacing, open-mouthed expressions which have made these statues so well-known and recognizable, despite their rarity. The most desirable Fon portrait statues come from the Bangwa.


The Bangwa, a small sub-group related to the Bamileke, number around 20,000 and live in western Cameroon north of the port of Douala. Most grasslands groups moved into the area from the north due to pressure from the Fulani in Nigeria, and share common ritual and social practices. The Bangwa became politically separate from the Bamileke as late as the early 20th century. Although they venerate ancestors, they do not as a rule carve images of them. They do save the skulls of ancestors however, and keep them in shrines dedicated to them. There are numerous famous photographs from the early 20th century showing the Fon with his royal portrait statues, many of them of truly monumental proportions. They are among the most sought after of African carvings. For more information on this fascinating and complex part of Africa, see "African Crossroads: Intersections between History and Anthropology in Cameroon" by Fowler and Zeitlyn, 1996.