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Female figure

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More than a hundred chieftaincies are identified with the Grasslands. These were often rivals for both territory and self-aggrandizing arts. Probably from a court in the Bamileke area, this expressive, seemingly pregnant female figure most likely represents a royal wide or mother. Wearing royal...

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1970s, acquired by Gallery 43, London [see note]; November 25, 1977, sold by Gallery 43 to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1991, year-end gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1992) NOTE: In a letter of December 16, 1977, Philip Goldman of Gallery 43 stated that he had “acquired [the figure] some years ago privately.”

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Bamileke peoples, Cameroon, 19th–20th century

Object Place



93.98 cm (37 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment, traces of red and white camwood powder


Africa and Oceania