Beaded Elephant Mask, Grassland People, Cameroon - Tribal Art
Description: The mask has been sculptured with Trump and Tusk (nice political duo !) and the European beads are old.The Elephants are often associated with political power in the highly stratified kingdoms of the Cameroon grasslands. Because imported beads were historically rare and costly, beadwork is also associated with high social rank, making this mask a potent symbol of power. The Bamileke masquerade is an assertive but controlled and dignified performance worthy of a royal court. The elite Kuosi masking society controls the right to own and wear elephant masks, and the society assists the fon,or king, as preserver and enforcer of the sociopolitical hierarchy.
This item was acquired from the collection of Jan Baptist Bedaux
Dimensions approx 155 x 39 x 48 cm
Dimensions approx. 22 (155) x 39 x 48 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.