Spider Drum

possibly Babungo/Vengo people

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

Made to showcase the skills of a carver from the western grasslands of Cameroon, this drum, elaborately carved from a single log, features motifs associated with royal spider stools which, in the late 20th century, were adapted for commercial distribution. Relief figures encircling the drum are undercut and represent the spider, symbol of wisdom and link between this world and that of ancestors. They also suggest communal support of the Fon (chief). However, this drum was not used for official functions but was displayed with other paraphernalia in the palace.

Spider Drum, Cordia Platythyrsa or Iroko wood, hide, possibly Babungo/Vengo people

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