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Tikar Mabu Helmet Mask, Cameroon #322
- Tikar Mabu Helmet Mask, Cameroon #322
- The Secret Association of Kwifon exists in each Kingdom within Cameroon.
- Each Kwifon Association has a "Runner Mask" called Mabu. Mabu Masks serve as the voice of the Kwifon.
- Kwifon Members, on their day and nighttime Missions are preceded by this Mask, which helps announce the Kwifon's approach and correct improper behavior.
- In some Western Grassfield Kingdoms of the past, the Mabu was also the Mask of Executioners.
- Mabu Masks display fearsome and greatly exaggerated facial features with a deep and complex dark finish, prominent shield-like projecting features, round cheeks and open mouth.
- Mabu Masks are also performed at Funerals and Commemorative Celebrations for important Village Men.
- Excellent condition.
- Provenance: From a private Belgian Collection, recently in Estate.From the book
- "The Palatine Elite of the (Cameroon) Grassfields had more than Myths in their Armory. All of the major Rituals that took place at the Palaces—whether the Enthronement of new Fons or Queen Mothers, or the Rites of Commemoration for Members of the Royal Family or of the Kwifon Society—were punctuated with the sudden appearances of the many Palace Masks, which would come bursting into the Palace Courtyard one by one, without warning, as the Ceremonies pro-gressed. I cannot provide here a full inventory of the innumerable Palace Masks of the Grassfields, so I concentrate in this chapter on four of the masks belonging to the Palace Kwifon Society in the Chiefdom of Oku. Apart from the Palace Masking group Fuləŋgaŋ, and in contrast to the majority of Masks belonging to the Lineage Groups of Oku described in later chapters, all of the Palace Masks emerge from the palace on their own, accompanied only by their unmasked acolytes. These masks do not dance, as do all those that perform in groups, nor are their sorties accompanied by music, bar the loud urgent calls with which the acolytes egg on their Masks. These are not beautiful masks to behold but dark, fearsome creatures with a redoubtable and excessive tendency to violence. As I describe later in the chapter, the Performances of these Masks, far from being enjoyable in a straightforward fashion, engender a tension between attraction and repulsion." - The Intestines of the State, Chapter 3, Masks of Terror and the Subjection of Cadets by Nicolas Argenti