MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Wooden Architectural Post, W/Two Carved Figures
Object Name:
Post, Architectural, Carved
Other Name:
Post, Architectural, Two Figures
Place of Origin:
Bangwa, Cameroon, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 92"
W = 14"
D = 10"

In Bangwa tradition, the royal palaces were often decorated with open—worked panels, bearing human figures and symbols which referred to royal heritage and power. Most Bangwa statues are royal portraits, which are kept in royal shrines along with the skulls of the ancestors. Frightening masks associated with the Night society are employed by the chief to maintain social order. Beautiful beadwork associated with the Fon (chief) is common throughout this area.

The Bangwa are one of the numerous smaller ethnic groups within the Bamileke complex. They are loosely affiliated with other groups in the complex, sharing many historical and political similarities while retaining their separate identity. All members of this group originally came from an area to the north and migrated in various complex patterns throughout the last several centuries. Fulani traders moving steadily southwards into Cameroon in the 17th century forced the southern drift of most of the current residents. The Bangwa were only officially separated from the Bamileke during colonial administration during the early 20th century.

Bacquart, P. 108—109

Buff—colored door monolith with two figures, female at bottom and male at top. Female with red mouth, wide short nose, open eyes and mouth exposing teeth. Teardrop—shaped body, small saggy breasts, large navel, boneless bent legs. Feet indicating toes, arms extended holding feet of male. Male with arms carved away from body, hands attached to waist. Short bent legs, round head with black face, cylindrical neck. Almond—shaped slit open eyes, wedge—shaped nose, open mouth exposing teeth. Short bent legs, large navel, standing on crescent—shaped platform. Cylindrical base showing some decay at bottom.
Finley Collection
Wood W/Paint
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, MSSU
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