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Figure from a Meeting House Post

This figure was once part of a column decorating the front of a men’s meeting house of the Bali-Nyonga kingdom in the Grasslands of western Cameroon. When the meeting house burned, some columns were saved, cut, and the figures sold. The carving shows a man wearing a hat—all free men were required to wear hats in public—as well as a decorated loincloth. He holds a drinking horn, used for palm wine, a mildly intoxicating beverage consumed on social and ceremonial occasions.

Bawok or Pati peoples, Bali-Nyonga kingdom, Cameroon
Figure from a Meeting House Post
1909–14
Wood, pigment
H. 40 ¼ in. (102.2 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Rita and John Grunwald, 74.32