African art > Statues > Statue Cameroon
Bamoun/Bamileke beaded statue (N° 14637)
Colors and chiefdoms in African art. The Bamiléké , a subgroup of a larger people also made up of Bamoun and Tikar , are famous for their sculptures of African art covered with pearls, signs of prosperity and wealth, conferring on the royal object the brilliance that distinguishes it from common objects.
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This female statuette of ancestor, stocky, was first carved in wood and then covered with a canvas of rabane encrusted with imported multicolored pearls, predominantly blue and red. She wears a crest hairstyle ending in the neck. The hands are placed on her lower abdomen in a gesture associated with fertility. The physiognomy displays a distinctive expressiveness of African tribal art from the Grassland regions.
Among the Bamilékés as in other ethnic groups, the art objects attested to the place of their owner in society. Thus, the materials and shapes of objects varied according to social status. King Bamiléké, also known as fon, guarantor of soil fertility and the protection of his subjects, was not considered mortal. As a result, his funeral was a joyous celebration, with the fon simply withdrawing physically but still watching over his people from his new home.
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