African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bronze Mambila

Bronze bust Mambila (N° 19917)

This bronze sculpture evokes the monoliths, architectural stone constructions, of the Cameroonian Grasslands region. These commemorative steles were made for religious and funerary purposes. It is also reminiscent, in form and decorative motifs related to tribal ritual markings, of the atals of the Bakor, and Ekoi, of the neighboring Grasslands regions around the Cross River in Nigeria. The bronze depicts a figure, ancestor or mythical hero, carrying his hands under his mouth, similar to carved tadep figures of the Mambila.
Despite their small numbers, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea)(the "men", in Fulani), settled in northwestern Cameroon, have produced a large number of masks and statues easily identifiable by their heart-shaped faces. Although the Mambila believe in a creator god named Chang or Nama, they worship only their ancestors. Their chiefs were buried in granaries like wheat because they were thought to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women.  

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Originex-collection allemande
Material(s)alliage de bronze
Height cm23
Width7 cm
Weight2.62 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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