Cameroon, of typical form, the complex geometric beaded designs completely covering the front and back of the cloth headdress and the over-sized discoidal ears. height 54in
Exhibited: Governors State University, IL, 2003 Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003 Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004 Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005
Published: Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.27, fig.59
This distinctive mask is found in most Bamileke kingdoms belonging to secret societies that may originally have been warrior associations but over time have changed into prestige societies of titled men who pay for the privilege of being inducted and advancement within the group. A cloth hood fits over the head of the wearer, and a long front-and-back beaded panel represent the trunk of the elephant. Ears are indicated by the disk-like protrusions on either side of the head. Cloth bulges outline the eyes, nose and mouth but rendered as human rather than animal form.