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Trophy calabash

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The Bamum kings regularly conducted wars and military campaigns during the dry season. This constant expansion increased the wealth and influence of the kingdom. This calabash, a gourd adorned with the jaws of slain enemies, would have been paraded in celebration of the victorious return of the...

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on neck in black marker: "BM10"; on neck in black marker: "F2"


1982, sold by Michel Huguenin, Galerie Majestic, 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

African, Bamum peoples, Cameroon, 19th century, 1850–00

Object Place



Overall: 42.5 x 27 cm (16 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gourd, cloth, human jaw bones with teeth, vines or plant fiber


Africa and Oceania