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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Cameroon Grasslands : Bamun Wooden Sculpture of an Animal's Head
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Bamun Wooden Sculpture of an Animal's Head - PF.4580
Origin: Grasslands of Central Cameroon
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 10.75" (27.3cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

£6,000.00
Location: Great Britain
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Description
The Cameroon Grasslans were once divided into a mosaic of ninety kingdoms governed by a king, or Fon, who was supported by social societies. The Fon ensured the protection of his people and guaranteed the fertility of the fields and fecundity of the women. In the past, he was believed to be endowed with supernatural powers and coulod change himself into an animal, especially the leopard, elephant, or buffalo; each regarded as a symbol of strength.

Art was, and still is, very important in maintaining the image of the king. Each successive Fon gathered around him only the finest artists, and occasionally created works of art themselves, such as the Bamun king Njoya who invented a type of decorative fabric motif. This sleek and elegant head of an animal is meticulously carved to give a maximum of effect. There is a strong realism in the powerful expression, and a certain stylization in the fine lines flowing back in the form of hair or a mane. The patina is very rich, the detail highly expressive. Among Cameroon artists it was a given fact that if an object was made expressly for the Fon, it had to be perfect. Seeing and touching this handsome sculpture, it is no surprise to learn that artists of recognized ability were generously rewarded.
- (PF.4580)

 

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