Tribal art > African Statues > Mambila
Mambila Tadep (N° 20535)
Anthropomorphic figure of massive appearance, represented hunched over, head engulfed up to the chest, arms folded around a bust flaring out towards solid half-bent legs. The very particular face, in the shape of a heart, is crowned with a multitude of studs. Fine clay film locally cracked.
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Cracks of desiccation.
Despite their small numbers, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea)(the "men", in Fulani), settled in the northwest of Cameroon, have created a large number of masks and statues easily identifiable by their heart-shaped faces. Although the Mambila believe in a creator god named Chang or Nama, they worship only their ancestors. Their chiefs were buried in granaries like wheat because they were thought to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women.
Made according to the same canons, these statues supposed to embody the ancestors frequently have small studs on the head as a headdress, such as this two-colored anthropomorphic figure. A cavity pierced on the abdomen probably contained therapeutic or magical ingredients.
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|Origin||Collection P. Malisse|
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