A male Keaka sculpture stylistically highly abstracted, standing on very robust, large feet, the legs slightly bent, arms slightly angled, the face triangular, merging into a beard, mouth, eyes and nose only indicated by minimal openings, on the head the suggestion of a coiffure by a handle-like form; dark patina with heavy encrustations.
The Keaka, a subgroup of the Ejagham, live near the Cross River in Cameroon. Their art traditions have been little researched. In ethnographic and art historical literature, stylised, often very encrusted figures occur that are attributed to the Keaka and other Cameroonian groups such as the Mambila, Mbem, Mbo or Mfumte. “njom” a term for medicine among the Ejagham, are used by groups and individuals in combating witchcraft, such as assigning blame for an illness or death. Each figure has an individual name, which is usually lost when the figure is removed from its original context.
The literature on the art of these ethnic groups suggests a transitional style between the art of their neighbours, the Chamba and the Mumuye. According to Pierre Harter, these powerful statues are associated with ancestor veneration, while Baeke places them in the context of the medical rite so, referring to an extraordinary spiritual being (Lebas, 2012, p. 287). See Falgayrettes-Leveau (1996, p. 10) for a very comparable statue in the collections of the Musée Dapper.
3.000 – 3.600,- Euro
Height: 61 cm
Weight: 2,7 kg (incl. stand)