Bamileke Chiefs Beaded Fly Hunt Whisk
Beautiful Bamileke chiefs beaded fly hunt whisk previously owned by his majesty GAchou Joseph II.
Origin: Village Badenkop, West Cameroon
Approx Age: Later 20th Century
Materials: Wood, glass beads, material, animal tail
Dimensions cm: 131 long in total
Ref. Number: 1142
A very stunning Bamileke chiefs beaded fly hunt whisk used by the chief for the dance in the royal court. The rooster / chicken head is adorned beautifully with different sized glass beads, inside of the mouth has a red material and the lower of the neck is traditional boubou cloth on the end of an animals tail.
Provenance: Collected by Abdel Aziz Gbetnkom from the chief “his majesty GAchou Joseph II”.
His majesty GAchou Joseph II is the ruler of Badenkop western region of Cameroon. When we acquired this fly whisk / swish, the piece was announced as “chasse mouche” when translated is “fly hunt”.
The photo opposite is of chief Foutougni dispaying a less elabourate beaded fly whisk on this occasion but this will be one of many he will own for different ceremonies.
Certain objects (power staffs, sceptres, fly whisks, …) are attributes specific to the function of a chief or a king, they form a set of items named regalia. They are material symbols of the power of the chief.
Beautiful beadwork associated with the Fon (chief) is common throughout this area. The art styles of the peoples in the Grasslands are very hard to differentiate due to the complex and recent migration patterns that are typical of the region.
The Bamileke are part of a larger cultural area known collectively as the Cameroon Grasslands. Within the Bamileke complex there are numerous smaller peoples who are loosely affiliated and share many similarities while retaining separate identities. The Bamileke originally came from an area to the north known as Mbam, which is today occupied by the Tikar. Fulani traders moving steadily southwards into Cameroon in the 17th century forced the southern drift of most of the Bamileke, although some elected to stay behind and live under the control of the invaders. They traveled through the area now occupied by the Bamum where many Bamileke remained and intermarried. Eventually, the majority settled in scattered villages to the south of Bamum territory.
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