Mask - Hardwood - Batcham - Bamileke - Cameroon

Mask - Hardwood - Batcham - Bamileke - Cameroon
2nd half 20th century - Good condition, used with some signs of wear

Mask called Batcham representing the head of a “dzetshe” hippopotamus emerging from water.

The Batcham mask represents the pi, or the double animal of an important dignitary of the kingdom.

It was used by a dignitary of the company who intervenes only on rare occasions: during funerals, the crowning of the king and the nine notables and to perform the regal dance tso (the hippopotamus dance).

Who wore the mask used to adjust the opening of the cylindrical collar (wrapped in a wood) on the head.

A warrior character performs many functions at the beginning: he intervenes during the crowning, initiation and formation of the “fon”, the “mkamvu’u” and the great wabo warriors.
According to African Arts DapperMuseum

Sometimes they were used by the initiates of “Kah” society when the “fon” (the king) went to the society hut and one of the members danced in front of him hidden by a batik dress.

Cameroon art features a complex protocol and numerous rituals, not always accessible to everyone. It is a court art.

“Batcham” masks have wrongly been named after a small Bamileke kingdom in the northeastern region of Grassfields (southern Cameroon).

The mask will be well packed and quickly shipped.

Lot details
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
2nd half 20th century
Good condition, used with some signs of wear
Sold with stand
32×16×13 cm
600 g
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