Liminality / Mourning

By Monica Demott
(formerly University of Iowa)

Cameroon; Kom peoples

Mask

Wood, copper

H. 39.7 cm (15 5/8")

The University of Iowa Museum of Art, The Stanley Collection, X1990.601

The most extensive and impressive masquerades are reserved for the cry-die of the Fon.  The Fon's cry-die is held in conjuncture with the investiture of his successor.  This mask, which has the naturalistic, rounded facial forms and small projecting ears characteristic of the Grassland style, is of the akam type and is to be placed atop the performer's head and worn with a raffia fringe that concealed the performer's face.  The lobes above the temples of the mask represent a prestige cap.