African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bamoun Bronze
Bamoun Bronze (N° 20039)
The African art of the Bamoun, and the regalia, emblems of prestige associated with sovereignty.
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This Bamoun dignitary necklace, or Bamoum, is adorned with 12 buffalo heads arranged on a metal hoop. This iconography symbolizes values of combativeness and tenacity. When they sit, the members of the council of the court of the Sultan Bamoun wear this distinctive ornament of their function,the mbangba, "mgba-mgba", which they believe helps to strengthen their prestige and keep away any evil power. Among the Bamoun, it is the fon , the head of the kingdom or chiefdom, who will offer this necklace to deserving men.
The Bamoun inhabit a region that is both full of wooded relief but also savannah. This large territory called Grassland located in the southwest of Cameroon is also home to other nearby ethnic groups such as the Bamiléké and the Tikar. Stylistically, the influence of this inter-ethnic proximity is perceptible thanks to common traits on the art pieces, such as the tendency to represent chubby characters with bulging eyes among the Tikar, or the use of beads, a common practice among the Bamiléké.
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