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Object Name: Mask (tsesah)
Culture: Bamileke peoples
Place of Origin: Bamendjo, Cameroon
Date/Era: Late 19th century
Medium/Materials: Wood, paint, iron dowel, plant fiber, plant gum
Dimensions: H: 53.34 cm, W: 47.00 cm, D: 30.50 cm (H: 21 in, W: 18.5 in, D: 12 in)
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.
Accession Number: X65.5820
This mask was most likely collected in Bamendjo or Bandjoun by the French Protestant missionary Reverend Franck Christol in the very early twentieth century and then entered the Wellcome Collection in 1932. Approximately a dozen masks have been attributed to the same workshop, each carrying its own name and belonging to a specific ruler. A kingdom possessed only one such mask at a time. The oldest known masks were made by artists in the nineteenth century, and as late as the 1980s, artists at Bandjoun were still making copies of them.
Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.