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Cameroon share a widespread artistic talent for detail. In earlier times, their medium of choice was a calabash. Whether an item was meant to be a milk or beer container, a cup or bowl, or even a thumb piano, if made from a calabash – it was likely decorated. Carved drawings were made onto the surface, chronicling past life like no-where else in Africa.
This African basket was collected in the Congo – DRC. Both the Pende and Chokwe used related prestige food storage and presentation bowls or baskets. (the Chokwe only where they neighboured the Pende in North Angola and Congo DRC) These baskets served as lidded containers, but when opened provided two bowls. The construction ensured that when used as bowls, each was uplifted. This was accomplished by fibre weaving (main base) and by attaching bark wood (top cover or bowl), thus added a longer and more stable life to the basket.
This is a small personal container , used to store magic hunting potions by the Lucahazi, Mbunda and Luvale – all groups living in North Cameroon, in and around the BarotsePlane.
It is made from mukenge root. Numerous hunters explained that it was once widely believed the potions contained therein made the hunter himself invisible to wild game.
THE BALI LEOPARD ROYAL STOOL
This royal leopard stool belonged to the Fon or ‘King’ of the Bali kingdom
These male Thembu tobacco bags date to the 1950’s – 1960’s and were called “ikhubalo”.
The example on the left was collected in the Hershel District, while the very large center example and the one to the right were collected in Quebe, an area in and around.
Beaded flywhisk with horse hair.
These objects were used in conjunction with the elephant masks.
Bamileke fly wick
A fine Cameroon buffalo maskof hallowed, helmet-like form the buffalo’s head with open mouth baring
teeth beneath the large flaring nostrils leading to a medial ridge, the far-set almond-shaped eyes
framed by small c-shaped ears surmounted by large, arching horns decorated with linear motifs;
exceptionally fine blackened and encrusted patina. length 29 in. (74.9 cm.)
Cameroon Elephant Mask, with rounded head and exaggerated concave oval ears, supporting an elongated trunk
with two large nostril cavities, and a gaping mouth bearing distinctive teeth, with two horns emanating from each cheek
in a curved fashion overlapping the trunk, incised almond eyes; dark brown patina with traces of white, red and yellow
pigment. Length 40 3/4 in. (1.03 m.)