Bamun helmet mask, Cameroon
wood, pigment
ex private collection, Zurich
15"/38.1cm tall x 10"/25.4cm wide
mid 20th century
ex private US collection


“The Kwifoyn (called Mbansie in some sources) society is
responsible for upholding the laws of the Bamun kingdom;
members mediate conflict and implement criminal justice when

To highlight the wealth of the fon and the status of participant
members, an annual
Nja harvest festival is held during which
sacrifices are made at the graves of past
fons. Held in
December or January, the dry season, the
Nja festival is a
display of hundreds of anthropomorphic (human) and
zoomorphic (animal) masquerades dancing through the
palace courtyard in single file. The dancers and their masks
are a visual representation of Bamun society and social
rank.” - from IMO DARA
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