Head crest

20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Grassfields, Cameroon


Overall: 44.5 x 25 x 25 cm (17 1/2 x 9 13/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Copper alloy, fiber

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



Masks (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