Collection

“Baboon” Mask

Baboon Mask

Bamun-Bali (Bamum-Bali), Cameroon.
Early 20th Century,
Incised Wood, Pigment, Attached Shell Decoration, Ht. 13¼".

This Bamum-Bali (Bamun-Bali) mask is very unusual and is atypical of the style traditionally found in masks from the region. It is thought to represent a baboon, however, no known use of this animal for this culture has been substantiated. Due to the many specific styles of art creation that can be found within this region, there can be no clear way to denote the cultural maker without further research.

However, it is believed that this mask may actually be from the Bangwa culture, who also lives in and around the region, and who are associated culturally with the Bamun. Due to specific characteristics known to their ‘style’ and which they are known to use to use on their masks, such as highly protruding teeth that are filed and then attached to the mask, this may be such an example. Many of the Bangwa masks and other artifacts are created with an anthropomorphic look that results in a strange combination of features, designs, and in effect, confusion over origin.

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Kifwebe Mask

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Baboon Mask

“Baboon” Mask

Bamun-Bali, Cameroon

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