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Bamum Ivory Sculpture of a Seated Figure - PF.6130
Origin: Cameroon
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high
Collection: African
Style: Bamum
Medium: Ivory

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This marvelous ivory sculpture depicts a seated figure holding two small children seated upon his knees. The figure is seated cross-legged upon a small base. The two children sit upon his knees on either side. He nestles the children, holding them close to his sides with his hands placed under their arms. The entire body of the figure is elaborately ornamented with series of jewelry and decorative scarifications. He is adorned with numerous anklet and bracelet along his arms and legs. He wears a distinctive beaded or woven necklace supporting a pendant featuring three curved horns or tusks presumably made of ivory. The infants seem about to suckle the ivory horns as if they were breasts. Perhaps this necklace possesses a fertility energy that is revealed by this arrangement. The face of the figure has been elaborately covered in decorative scarification that was considered to be a sign of rank as well as marks of beauty. His eyes bulge out of his head, a characteristic feature of the Cameroon Grassland style. Although the ceremonial significance of this sculpture remains mysterious, we can easily appreciate the remarkable artistry and stunning beauty so prevalent in this work. - (PF.6130)

 

 

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