Lot: 279

91 Tribal Art Auction

Royal memorial figure "lefem"

Cameroon, Bangwa

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Collection, Florida H: 36.4 inch 20000 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, encrusted patina, pigments, rep.

Such large figures are generally classified as memorial figures called "lefem". They mostly depict persons of higher rank, mostly known by name.

Customarily the effigies were made during their lifetime and frequently they were supplied with their most important regalias - pipes, adornment etc. With such symbols the rank of the depicted person could be determined.

The statues were displayed in front of the palace on special occasions such as personal ancestor worship of the king, liturgies for the protection of the territory and fertility of the soil, and royal funerals.

The keeping of the figures and the holy music instruments as well as the conduct of funeral celebrations was the task of the "lefem" society, which gave the figures their name.