Grassland People, Cameroon. Ritual Palm Wine Vessels Collection.
Rulers throughout the many Kingdoms in the Cameroon Grassland region (Bamileke - Bamum - Tikar) employed a range of Regalia to assert their political, economic and religious power. Presented publicly in lavish displays of wealth and power, many court objects were distinguished by their elaborate bead embroidery. Of the many ritual items,calabashes are among the most important.
These containers were used exclusively by the Fon (chief) to store palm wine served on ceremonial occasions. The ritual consumption of palm wine was considered a sacred activity and reinforced the Fons' spiritual and political power. Palm wine was also an essential component of sacrificial libations to the ancestors.
From left to right:
1. Beaded calabash topped with a carved animal stopper -108cm: 5.700 €
2. Beaded calabash topped with a carved animal stopper - 82cm: 6.250 €
3. Beaded calabash topped with a carved human head stopper - 80cm: 3.000 €
4. Beaded calabash topped with a carved human head stopper - 66cm: 3.000 €
5. Beaded calabash topped with a carved animal stopper - 78cm: 3.500 €
Numbers 1 and 2 from the left come from Martial Bronsin-Brussels.
Examples of Beaded Palm Wine Gourds can be seen in the Fowler Museum Exhibition "Dining with Kings: Ceremony and Hospitality in the Cameroon Grassfields" that opened 12/17/2017