The bell is made of forged iron, the figural top is made of carved wood. Attached to each other with rotan. The wooden drum stick is attached with braided textile cord.At the top we see a headdress of a Bamum man of royal status; a king, big chief or Fon. It represents a prestige cap, a Shuotu, worn by men of high status. And typical for the Cameroon Grassfields. The rotan around the elongated neck represents a necklace / neck rings.
The face shows raised eyebrows, eyes that slightly telescope out of their sockets, a prominent nose. Slightly blown cheeks, circular ears, a protruding chin under a closed mouth.
The patina shows the gong could have been extensively used in ceremonies, such as the Cry. The Cry is a ceremony of the Night Society, held around the burial of a deceased Bamum king / chief. And the initiation of the new king. In early days, pre tourists time, the sculpture's goal during creation of the head, was to commemorate and celebrate the royal ancestor, the carving should show likeness; carved from life and resemble the subject.The head might be a small version of or derived from the Tu Ngunga - head for the dance. The gong itself is considered as a blessing, a bringer of prosperity and fertility for the new royal family and the land, Fondom. We did not clean, polish or wax it, we did not change a thing to make it look nicer or more interesting.
Height: circa 52,5 cm / circa 20.6 inch. Some search terms: ritual ceremonial gong, Bangwa, Bamenda Tikar, Bafum, Mbuk, Bekom, Kameroen, Kamerun, Bamoun, Bamoum, Bamun, Mum, Bantoid group, statue figure, figur, Gong Society, Glocke, Tanzglocke Eisenglocke, Eisen un Holz, lefem figure, portrait statue, ancestor figure, tugunga, tungunga, Nsorro member, masquerade. Please note : we are not experts.
Do judge for yourself the tribal affilation and the correct age. The Hague, The Netherlands, EU. Chambers of Commerce in The Netherlands / KvK Haaglanden: file 27133335. The item "African tribal art, old Bamum Bamileke Cameroon, Gong / Bell with carved figure" is in sale since Saturday, December 7, 2019.This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\African\Sculptures & Statues". The seller is "delta98denhaag" and is located in 's-Gravenhage. This item can be shipped worldwide.