The shifting iconography of drinking horns in the Western Grassfields, Cameroon

SOURCE: Cogent Social Sciences
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2017
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.F.Alubafi, M.Ramphalile
KEYWORDS: CAMEROON, CULTURE, ICONOGRAPHY, VISUAL ARTS SECTOR
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10013

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Abstract

This paper examines the shifting iconography and iconology of the buffalo and cow horn drinking cup in the western Grassfields of Cameroon. It highlights the extraordinary creativity of how cow horn drinking cups have provided young people who were previously denied the opportunity of using objects of status to associate with the new aesthetic practices. By examining the fascination in cow horn drinking cups decorated with Bruce Lee's facial image, this paper will show that successful youth who acquire such items have become the embodiments of a new iconography and iconology for the western Grassfields. More importantly, the study will demonstrate how these emerging youths, who are neither royals nor elites have reverse to their advantage the traditional iconography and iconology that was typical of the region and that was restricted to royals and elites.