Door frame (part)

Weh, Grassfields kingdoms
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cameroon Grassfields, Cameroon


Overall: 141 x 23 x 14.5 cm (55 1/2 x 9 1/16 x 5 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Doors, jambs, lintels

Elaborately carved frames accentuated the entryways of traditional windowless houses in the Fungom region of the Cameroon Grassfields. They consist of a post on either side of the door opening, connected by a smaller crossbeam on top and a wooden step at bottom (missing here). The outsides of these posts carry low-relief carvings that have been interpreted as “people.” The posts became obsolete and moved into collections when local building forms changed in the 1960s. Mud brick and concrete houses with Western-style doors now affirm the status of well-to-do men.


1985, sold by an unknown African dealer, Douala, Cameroon 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