African art > Statues > Statuette Mambila
Statuette Mambila Tadep (N° 17694)
Despite their small number, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea) (the men, fulani), installed in the north-west of Cameroon, have created a large number of masks and statues easily identifiable by their heart-shaped faces. Although the Mambila believe in a creative god named Chang or Nama, they only worship their ancestors. Their leaders were buried in attics like wheat because they were supposed to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women.
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Realized according to the same cannons, these statues supposed to embody ancestors frequently have small studs on their heads as a hairstyle, such as this two-colored anthropomorphic figure. A cavity pierced on the abdomen probably contained therapeutic or magical ingredients. The head is classically engulfed in the shoulders, the unusual posture, hands brought back to the chest. The massive crenellated legs reproduce the angular volume of the abdomen. Patina matte abrased, kaolin residue. Desication cracks.
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