Beaded Ceremonial Head "Adwonzen", Grassland People, Cameroon - Tribal Art
Beaded heads such as this, called atwonzen, represent trophy heads: the skulls of enemies felled in battle. Underneath the beading is not bone, however, but wood. This peace sports a captivating eclectic pattern of red, white and blue beads. The striking appearance of the head is further augmented by the delicate cowrie shells which make up its intriguing set of teeth and fascinating strands of hair. Relatively rare , works of this kind were associated with powerful otherworldly forces. Atwonzen were found only in the households of the Fon, or King, and their closest allies.
Dimensions approx. 23 x 15 x 17 cm
Beaded art from the Cameroon Grasslands collected between 1985 and 2005. Rulers throughout the many Kingdoms in the Cameroon Grassland region (Bamileke –Bamum -Tikar) employed a range of Regalia to assert their political, economic and religious power. Presented publicly in lavish displays of wealth and power, many court objects were distinguished by their elaborate bead embroidery. Imported from Venice, Bohemia or Amsterdam, glass beads were considered a luxury material whose use and distribution were controlled by the King. The decoration of objects with vast quantities of brilliantly colored beads transformed utilitarian objects into symbols of royal status and prestige.
All lots are in the state the collector acquire them. No restorations or cleaning has been performed.