Head crest (basketry stand)

African, Bamum peoples, Cameroon
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Grassfields, Cameroon


Overall (Approximately): 10 x 45 cm (3 15/16 x 17 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



Basketry stand used to support and display Ngoin mask. Ngoin like this one perform during men’s death celebrations; today, they also appear at political events and official celebrations. They belong to important men in charge of large families. A young man wore this female mask like a helmet on his head, his face covered with a net and his body concealed under a tunic-like garment.


1979, sold by Mr. Sillah (or Silla), Cambridge, MA, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart