Life in the Cameroon Grasslands

by Hans-Joachim Koloss (1938 - 2013)
Formerly Museum für Völkerkunde

Death ceremony for the late King in the Palace of Oku: the appearance of two Mabuh masks, Cameroon. Photo by Hans-Joachim Koloss.

The mask Mabuh from Kwifon is one of the most famous masks in the Cameroon Grasslands. As Kwifon is the secret society, which formed the traditional government together with the king, its masks are highly respected and well known. Mabuh is its “running” juju. It buries the dead members of Kwifon and appears rather often in public. In the past Mabuh used to execute criminals, above all witches. In all kingdoms of the Grasslands, Mabuh wears a headpiece in the form of a human head. Its dress is also characteristic—it is made of feathers.