Lot: 296

94th Tribal Art Auction

Anthropomorphic dance crest "mbaing"

Cameroon, Ngambè-Tikar

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
German Private Collection (coll. in situ, 1972-75) H: 24 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, red pigment, kaolin, plant fibre, fabric, cracks, base

A comparable dance crest, ex Jacques Kerchache (1969) was published by Claude Savary in 1978 (p.54, ill. 25). In 1983 it was auctioned as part of the famous Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection at Sotheby's, London (AHDRC 0011137).

The "mbaing" masks are employed for the "nganga" dance during funerals. They are usually worn by a member of the chief's family.

The head sculptures, rising from massive necks, are balanced on top of the head, whereby the wickerwork frame and the fabric upholstery on the ring-shaped base is intended to make it easier for the dancer to carry.

Savary, Claude, Sculptures Africaines d´un Collectionneur de Genève, Genève 1978, p.54, ill. 25