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Tribal art > African mask > Bamileke Mask

Bamileke Mbap mteng elephant mask (N° 14500)

These long masks in fabric embroidered with pearls with very rich polychromy were worn by high-ranking members in society bamileke . The beaded embroidered fabric panels are topped with a basket-shaped tiara decorated with zoomorphic symbols with textile scantily.
, on the occasion of the funeral of some warriors, the wearer waved his ears and simulated the charge of the elephant, an animal that this mask symbolized.
In African art, the animal kingdom has a special place because of its ubiquitous physical proximity. Some animals have thus largely integrated the cosmogonies of many ethnic groups. The elephant is an obvious example of this and works that symbolize them are given royal virtues.
The Bamileke society had several initiation associations including the mwola and komiyo, these are the societies from which men are allowed to wear these masks.

It was during the elephant dance, tso, that the members of the society Kuosi, Kwosi, wore impressive feathered headdresses. They were worn over a multicolored costume consisting of a large beaded mask with large circular ears, mbap mteng, a fabric fabric, ndop, adorned with monkey fur and a leopard belt. These dances took place during festive ceremonies and funerals. The Bamileke, a subgroup of a larger people also made up of the Bamoun and Tikar, are famous for their pearl-covered pieces of African art, a sign of prosperity and wealth, giving the royal object the brilliance that sets it apart from the common objects.  

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Originex-collection française.
EthnyBamileke
Countrycameroun
Material(s)tissu, perles, raphia
Height cm173
Width35 cm
Weight1.85 Kg
Estimated dating1sthalfxxe
Socle includedYes

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