UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum

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Royal Bamileke Beaded Head


Royal Bamileke Beaded Head, 20th c.
Bamileke peoples, Cameroon
Beads, fabric, cowry shells,
11 x 9 x 9 in, 27.94 x 22.86 x 22.86 cm
Gift of Gilbert and Jean Jackson, 2010.13.1

Produced by the Bamileke peoples of Cameroon, this striking head is composed of cowry shells and glass beads, shaped into a zoomorphic form with protruding eyes and ears. An elaborately beaded chameleon sits atop the mask, complemented and balanced by two red cloth attachments that hang from each side of the face. This magnificent beaded head adds to UVaM's growing collection of important non-Western art. As the fourth Bamileke object in UVaM's collection of over 600 objects from West and Central Africa, this remarkable piece enhances the Museum's ability to represent the world's cultures.