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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Glasslands Bronze Pipe
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Glasslands Bronze Pipe - CK.0693
Origin: Grasslands of Cameroon
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 7.75" (19.7cm) high x 4" (10.2cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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Cameroon contains four main areas – the Grasslands, the Nigerian Border Region, the Forest Zone and the North – that can usually be differentiated on the basis of their artistic output. The current piece, however, presents certain problems in that it appears to be unique and thus impossible to assign with certainty. It has been linked tentatively to the Grasslands region on the basis of the detailed latticework on the stool, but this is subject to review. The main tribes in this area are the Bamileke, the Tikar and the Bamun, which are distinct groups while sharing considerable similarities in terms of social structure. Each is further subdivided – the Bamileke are comprised of many kingdoms including the Batcham, the Bafang and the Bafoussan – into kingdoms of greater or lesser power and, for our purposes, artistic note. All have powerful king figures, and it is likely that is what being portrayed here. The Tikar are noted for their tendency to produce short, fat, somewhat distorted figures with infantilistic faces, and this is thus unlikely to pertain to the group. The facial features are much more refined than most figures, and as the Bamileke produce the greatest proportion of fine-featured figures, this is the most likely source for the piece. - (CK.0693)


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