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African art - Bafut :

Babanki Elephant Mask
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African art > African mask > Babanki Mask

The African art of Grassland chiefdoms and beaded sculptures
The Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Grasslands, Cameroon . 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 like Bamoun , symbolizing the wealth and royal prestige, called buffalo mask. 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 prestige of the Fon , these sculptures were also the object of barter and present throughout this cultural area. (Animal, Dapper ...

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