African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bamileke necklace
Bamileke necklace (N° 14559)
The African art of the Bamoun, and the regalia associated with sovereignty.
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This old necklace of Bamoun dignitary, or Bamoum, is trimmed with 12 buffalo heads arranged on a metal strap with a clasp. This iconography symbolizes the values of combativeness and tenacity. When they sit, the members of sultan Bamoun's court council wear this distinctive adornment of their function, the mbangba ,"mgba-mgba", which they say helps to strengthen their prestige and drive away any power Evil. Among the Bamoun, it is the fon, the head of the Kingdom or the chiefdom, who will offer this necklace to deserving men.
Total height on a base: 55 cm.
The Bamoun live in an area full of woodlands as well as savannahs. This large territory called Grassland in southwestern Cameroon is also home to other close ethnic groups such as the Bamiléké and Tikar. Stylistically, the influence of this interethnic proximity is noticeable through common features on the pieces of art, such as the tendency to represent chubby characters with globular eyes in the Tikar, or the use of beads, common use Bamiléké.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1950|
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