Post Lot Text
This rare and impressive Janus headed mask has faces that are strikingly similar in expression but which differ in shape. It has the stylistic characteristics of a Troh mask from the Bangwa groups of the Cameroonian Highlands. The helmet mask has a thick dark encrusted patina, most probably a mixture of palm oil and soot, which is typical for Troh masks, as are its deep ocular orbits, puffed cheeks and intimidating mouth. Its features have a terrifying appearance, and the two faces are skull-like. A similar face on a Troh mask is published in P.Harter, Arts Anciens du Cameroun, 1986, page 221, illustration 253. Troh masks with two, three and even four heads or faces are known. They allegorize the clairvoyance of initiated members, and are intended to inspire awe and fear.
The Troh secret society whose paraphernalia included this mask type was also active among the northern and western neighbors of the Bangwa groups around the Fontem area.