Horn (title cup)

Cameroon Grassfields
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cameroon


Height x width: 17 x 33 x 9 cm (6 11/16 x 13 x 3 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Buffalo horn

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

This buffalo horn with smooth patina and finely engraved motifs is a title cup-one of three essential pieces of regalia that each lineage head receives at his investiture, when he takes his “title;” the other two are his stool and cap. Title cups have multiple functions, and serve as ritual containers when the owner pours libations and drinks palm wine from them. The fully articulated lizard alludes to vitality, the stylized frog motif to fertility and prosperity.


1981, sold by Esatuk Gallery, Paris 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