African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Mambila Cap
Unusual object, this ceremonial hat, in conical basketry coated with colored pigments. It is embellished with a series of figures carved in the image of African statues Kiké ntadep, tadep.
Despite their small number, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambila, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea)(the "men", in Fulani), settled in the northwest of Cameroon, created a large number of masks and statues easily identified by their heart-shaped faces. Although the Mambila believe in a creator god named Chang or Nama, they only worship their ancestors. Their leaders were buried in granaries like wheat as they were believed to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women.