Beaded Ceremonial Head "Adwonzen" With Leopard Mount, 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 piece is adorned with black, white, red and blue beads in a strikingly beautiful combination of striped, triangular and circular patterns. The exquisite detail of this piece is especially visible in the sublime set of teeth fashioned from white beads. Atop the beaded head stands an animal with a vivid red head and an elegant checkerboard pattern along its body. 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. 32 x 19 x 25 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.