Bamileke Treasure Pot

  • Product Code: BAM2-161
  • Dimensions: 18" x 39" x 18"
  • Availability: In Stock
  • USD $


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The grassland region of southwest Cameroon is a hilly and mountainous area covered by an equatorial forest in the south and a savannah in the north. Since its colonization by the Germans in 1884, this entire region, in particular the Bamileke, Bamun, and Tikar territories, has attracted the attention of Western scholars because of its artistic heritage. The Bamileke number 700,000 people and they are ruled by kings. This exquisitely carved container features two circles of carved figures, one supporting the other, and a third level of heads above that, which are likely to represent ancestors. The lid is decorated by a ring of what are likely lizards, topped with a single lizard which serves as the handle. The mixture of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures is common in Bamileke carvings, as, indeed, it is in many African tribes. Owing to its unique nature, source material describing the function of this particular vessel could not be found. Its function as a treasure pot was the best guess of an African trader with extensive knowledge of Bamileke art. Suffice it to say that it is quite beautiful and decidedly uncommon. -Bacquart

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