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African Trading Port

Bamileke Mask

Bamileke Mask

Bamileke Cameroon

Agriculture; Celebration; Funeral; Status

The Bamileke society is highly stratified by lineage, with certain royal lineages exclusively entitled to wear certain masks. Lineage masks may represent persons, such as the kam, ngoin, or animals, and are used principally at funerals and annual harvest festivals. The kam mask is reserved for royalty and is the highest-ranking mask, with ngoin, his wife, also highly ranked. Helmet masks like this one are open to non-royal lineages to use.

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