Skip to Content

Traditions & Encounters: Art of Africa, Oceania & Native North America

Showing 1 of 1


  FILTER RESULTS

Crest Mask

15 9/16 x 14 3/4 x 14 7/8 in. (39.5 x 37.5 x 37.8 cm)

Unknown, Cameroon
Cameroon

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Wood
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1971.20
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

This royal mask would have been performed at night; the animals around its crown are bats, nocturnal animals. The angular forms on the openwork cap reference the Cameroon brown spider which is associated with the high status of kings and the power of divination. This large spider is a member of the tarantula family and lives in the ground near the base of trees. In Cameroon the sacred earth spider has supernatural wisdom and serves as intermediary between the living and the buried dead. It is through these spiders that Cameroon diviners communicate with their ancestors.

Crest Masks are different than face masks in that they are worn atop the head, rather than in front of the face. The dancer wearing this mask would have had his face concealed under a mask of see-through fabric. The rest of his body would have been covered in a costume of cloth.

[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Afrantique Arts, Wyckoff, NJ; purchased from them by the Gallery in 1971

Bibliography
This object has the following bibliographic references:

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:


Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Traditions & Encounters: Art of Africa, Oceania & Native North America" and [Object]Object Type is "Sculpture" and [Object]Artist - Sort Name is "Unknown, Cameroon".

View current selection of records as:
CDWA Lite XML LIDO XML VRA Core 4 MODS XML Objects JSON