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African art - Babanki:

The Babanki live in the northern part of the so-called Cameroonian Grasslands. Their neighbours are the Kom, the Wum and the Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many of them converted to Islam. They revere the ancestors who are said to be incarnated in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. The Grasslands brotherhoods use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with beads, called buffalo masks. They are said to have the power to metamorphose into an animal. In some lineages, however, this mask is replaced by the wooden elephant mask.


Babanki elephant mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Babanki Mask

The African art of the Chiefdoms of Grassland and the beaded sculptures.
Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Landlands . Their neighbours are the Kom, the Wum and the Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many converted to Islam. They revered the ancestors who would incarnate in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. The Brotherhoods of the Grasslands use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with pearls like the Bamoun , symbolizing the wealth and royal prestige, called buffalo mask. They would indeed have the power to transform themselves into animals. In some lineages however, this mask is replaced by the wooden elephant mask. A symbol of prestige of the Fon, these sculptures were also the object of bartering and present throughout this ...


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Large Babanki Bamoun helmet mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bamoun Mask

Exceptional size for this tribal sculpture, worn horizontally, the volume of the large concave ears is fairly balanced by the rounding of the horns that join the trunk. The dancers of the Kuosi society to which the nobles and warriors belonged, mimicmed during the choreography the charge of the animal . The surface has a dark brown patina, smooth and velvety, eyes surrounded by white kaolin. The Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Cameroonian Grasslands . Their neighbours are the Kom, Wum and Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many of them converted to Islam. They revered the ancestors who would incarnate in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. Grasslands brotherhoods use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with beads, called buffalo masks, and ...

Babanki / Bamoun helmet mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Babanki Mask

The Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Cameroonian Grasslands . Their neighbours are the Kom, Wum and Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many of them converted to Islam. They revered the ancestors who would incarnate in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. Grasslands brotherhoods use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with beads, called buffalo masks, and beaded hoods that also represent the elephant. The elders would indeed be endowed with the power to transform themselves into animals. In some lyings however, this mask is replaced by the wooden elephant mask. A symbol of the Fon's prestige, these sculptures were also trodden and present throughout this cultural area. The tusks of the pachyderm were exclusively the chiefs. (Animal, Dapper ...

Babanki Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Babanki Mask

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Grasslands . Their neighbours are the Kom, Wum and Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many of them converted to Islam. They revered the ancestors who would incarnate in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. Grasslands brotherhoods use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with pearls, called buffalo masks. They would indeed have the power to transform into an animal. In some lyings however, this mask is replaced by the wooden elephant mask. A symbol of the Fon's prestige, these sculptures were also trodden and present throughout this cultural area. (Animal, Dapper Museum) A stylized tribal sculpture, the volume of the large concave ears is accurately balanced by the ...


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