Bamileke Queens Pot
Origin: Village “Oku” north west Cameroon
Approx Age: Later 20th Century 1970’s
Materials: Wood, raffia
Dimensions cm: Pot: 55 tall x 45 wide. Lid 24 tall x 36 wide
Ref. Number: 1149
An exquisite and rare royal Bamileke queens pot carved for keeping special clothing or palm oil of the queen/chiefs wife. Large and beautiful pot consisting of carved leopards, royal gongs spiders and human heads and a raffia top lid with a totem dog as a guard.
Provenance: Collected by Abdel Aziz Gbetnkom from ‘Fon Ngoum’ King of Oku.
Beautifully decorated royal pot previously owned by Fon Ngoum. Exquisitely carved with double gongs which are instruments only used by the chief and were recognised as the authoritative voice of the Kwifoyn, the male regulatory society, a sacred instrument and emblem of power and domination over the people of the village, leopards are the Bamileke “totem” it is said in Bamileke belief that the chief when in his own village could change into a leopard. The earth spider motif is chosen as it is reverred for its wisdom being clever enough to build beautiful trap, spending sometime underground it is thought she could be a messenger between the living world and the world of the ancestors, thus giving her clairvoyance powers, and the human heads are a meaning of power and strength.
A similar pot in the photo opposite at a ceremonial dance at Bambalan.
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