“Shells of Joy” – Cameroon


Mask of man representing livelihood and wealth. Both the bottom of the mask and the top of the head are covered in Jute cloth, a symbol of a wealthy home, and are decorated with small shells. (These shells once served as a type of currency in many parts of Africa.) The mouth of the mask is opened in laughter to reveal a line of teeth; the nose has large, flared nostrils; and the eyes are opened wide. The entire surface of the mask is covered in hammered metal with decorative grooves, indicating wealth.


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