Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon

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Lot 79
Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon

US$ 25,000 - 35,000
€ 23,000 - 32,000
Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon
Wood
height 18 1/2in (47cm)

Provenance
Hélène and Philippe Leloup, Paris
Private American Collection

According to Susan Vogel, Kaka 'is a Fulani name the Germans gave to the Mfumte, Mbem, and Mbaw (Ntem), a cluster of peoples living in scattered settlements just south of the Donga River. Though Paul Gebauer collected a number of figures in the "Kaka" and Mambila area, it is hard to define clear regional styles--if they exist--on the basis of his documentation. Gebauer attributes to the Mfumte a figure that serves to localize one small group of highly abstract and dynamically conceived figures that bear some relationship to Mambila style. However, in the Mfumte area he also collected other figures in a style we would consider pure Mambila...

...Nothing like these figures was collected by Gebauer. They are all carved of medium-hard wood and have a thickly encrusted surface. Their flexed arms are held away from the body, their large, firmly planted feet extend as far behind the ankle as before (Arts d'Afrique Noire 1973, no. 7:2). Their most characteristic features are their upraised bearded chins and open, screaming mouths. Another peculiarity: all the figures known to me are males, and many carry babies on their backs.' (For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Tishman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981, p. 159)

This extremely rare paternity figure stands firmly on enlarged feet, slightly leaning towards his left side and gazing upward, the child riding on his lower back is highly abstract, and the entire surface has been heavily encrusted with ritual patination over many years of cultural use.
Contacts
Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon
Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon
Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon
Rare Kaka Paternity Figure, Cameroon
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