By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Cameroon; Kom peoples

Royal figure

Wood, beads, fiber, iron, cloth

H. 91.4 cm (36")

Indiana University Art Museum, 68.190

The importance of hats and other adornments of the head in the great states of Cameroon is reflected in woodcarving traditions of the region. The wooden figures and masks that are among the most important symbols of royal power and prestige often incorporate representations of specific types of hats and coiffures. In this figure from Kom, a royal ancestor, which was once part of the royal treasury of Kom and accompanied the large figure in the field photograph, is represented wearing high prestige headgear.

Enthronment of Jinabo II, the late King of Kom, Northwest Province of Cameroon. Photo by Hans-Joachim Koloss.