Country: Cameroun

Tribe: Bamileke

Measurements: Height: 50" Width: 16" Inches

Material: Cloth and Beads

Condition: Age stains

This long mask is beaded onto hand woven fabric. Beaded masks like this one still perform among the Bamileke. The Bamileke people live in the Cameroon Grasslands. The Bamileke are farmers and organized in hierarchically stratified society w the king, called Fon has an absolute political and social. The Bamileke believe that the Fon has the power of life and death over his subjects. He is associated with masters of the forest including the elephant and the leopard. It is said that the Fon can transform himself into these animal. The mask illustrated represents the Fon as an elephant and a Leopard. Masks like this are known as Elephant Costume mask made of cloth onto which multicolored beads are nicely stitched in geometric patterns. In the Bamileke culture such masks belong to the Kuosi Society, a men association formed by royalties, title-holders, and warriors of the chiefdom. The purpose of this association is to maintain social and political order. The ears are designed like those of the Elephant and the panel depicts the elephant trunk. The triangular patterns recall the leopard spots. Leopard pelts have been seen on
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