African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bamoun statue
Bamileke beaded statuette (N° 14652)
Colors and chiefdoms in African art. This male statuette of ancestor, stocky, was first carved in wood and then covered with a canvas of rabane encrusted with imported multicolored pearls. It has a headgear and an object. One of the hands is placed on his lower abdomen The physiognomy displays a distinctive expressiveness of African tribal art from the Grassland regions.
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With the Bamiléké as in other ethnic groups, art objects were a testament to their owner's place 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. Located in the border region of Nigeria, the northwestern province of Cameroon, The Grassland is made up of several ethnic groups: Tikar, Anyang, Widekum, Chamba, Bamoun and Bamileke . Several centralized chiefdoms, or kingdoms, based on customary associations, secret societies, are organized around the Fon which would have broad supernatural powers including that of being able to transform into an animal such as the python, the elephant , the leopard, or the buffalo.
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