Passports – Case XXI

Bamileke and Kom

Here we have a potpourri of West African peoples. The Bamileke and Kom passports are good imitations of their counterparts, even to the use of human hair on the Kom. The horned example overlaid with leather is unusual.

Bamileke and Kom - Passports_Case6-1

Suku style

These are contrasting examples of the Suku style, but both are simple and refined. The elongated mask has a very heavily encrusted patina.

Suku style - Passports_Case6-2


Baule masks have been admired by westerners ever since they showed up in the ethnological museums and flea markets of Paris in the early twentieth century. The family mask shown here is a reduction of a Baule ‘portrait mask’.

Baule - Passports_Case6-3



This masquette belonged to a member of the Kore Society, one of the most important men’s secret associations of the Bamana people. Notice the repeated triangular decoration covering the surface of the mask.

Kore - Passports_Case6-5


I find the familiar lunar influence in this large Eket family mask to be extremely expressive and fascinating.

Eket - Passports_Case6-6