Bamum Prestige Necklace

Made by a special guild of artists, the Pa Nguot, mgba mgba necklaces are made exclusively for the fon.

Bamum Necklace

Tribe: Bamum, Bamoun

Origin: Grasslands of Cameroon

Approx Age: late 19th/very early 20th Century

Materials: bronze/copper alloy

Dimensions cm: Approx 40 diameter

Ref. Number: 1626

£795.00

Description:

A really nice Bamum prestige necklace, these were called ‘Mgba Mgba’, these would be worn by the king and sometimes given by the chief/king to one of his notables as a reward for his bravery, then to be worn at ceremonies. This is a nice old piece that was collected in the 1920s by a serviceman.

Provenance: Ex- private Guernsey collection, acquired the 1920s

.

.COMHistory

During special ceremonies and community festivals, the fon (king) of the Bamum kingdom wears a mgba mgba prestige necklace made of a copper alloy (typically brass).

Made by a special guild of artists, the Pa Nguot, mgba mgba necklaces are made exclusively for the fon. However, the fon may decide to gift royal neck ornaments to high ranking and loyal palace retainers and other members of the nobility.

Distinguishing Features

  • Number of bronze human or animal heads
  • Human heads wear royal mpelet headdresses
  • Buffalo, ram and bird heads (emblem of high ranking retainers and nobility; 
  • NOTE: rams associated with ‘fathers of the king’ (titamfon), the three highest-ranking retainers at the palace)
  • Heads slipped onto an iron ring
  • Heads held in place by rear hooks.
  • Hook clasp at end of the neck ring
  • Reference found at IMODARA.COM

King Njoya presenting a necklace to a notable of his chiefdom

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