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Bangwa Queen Memorial Statue Cameroon Africa 27 Inch

Product #: 105609
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Title Bangwa Queen Memorial Statue Cameroon Africa 27 Inch
Type of Object Ancestor (Memorial) Figure.
Country of Origin Cameroon
People Bangwa
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 27.5 Inches
Width: 7.5 Inches
Depth: 9 Inches
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair large crack. heavy encrustation very flaky. broken foot, does not stand well

Additional Information: The motif of the Queen Memorial is well known from Bangwa peoples.  She is recognizable by her tall curved headcrest, open toothy mouth, and decorated neck collar.  She holds two tools or instruments, one in either hand.  The pose is typical of Bangwa sculpture, with knees bent and standing.  The surface of the carving has had several layers of pigment and a flaky encrusted feel. 

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.

Recommended Reading: :

Tamara Northern, Expressions of Cameroon Art. The Franklin Collection, 1986