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BAMILEKE GAMING BOARD, MANCALA - 22" L X 8" W X 8"H SOLD

  • 50000


The artistic production of the people living in the Grassland of Cameroon is closely associated with royal and societal ceremonies. Large figures, thrones and prestige paraphernalia are used by the king to assert his power. The people from Cameroon are known for the exceptional carving skill.

Board games brought status to the owner. They show the creativity and power the Bamileke, like other Cameroon tribes, put into functional objects.

The game of ayo has many other names, such as mancala and warri. It was traditionally played throughout East and West Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Today variations of the game have spread throughout most of the world.

On the oval base carved from heavy wood, there are 12 bodies and the bottom of 12 round faces, 6 on either side. The large game bowls, which are the bottom of the faces, are smooth and lined with red wax. The top or cover is a heavy carving of the 12 heads, six for each side separated with a sturdy handle. These exceptional carvings of round expressive faces and bodies have red paint with a black patina.

This exceptionally beautiful piece has been in a California collection since the early 1980's.

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