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ID number:  BIRRC-D0042
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Anthropomorphic pipe
Object type:  Metalwork
Place made:  Bamenda, Cameroons
Culture:  Bamileke
Materials:  Brass
Measurements:  25 x 65 cm
BIRRC-D0042.jpg

The bowl of the pipe is in the form of a double-headed figure, with the stem detachable and in 2 separate sections. The Bamileke describes a collective of peoples living in the Bamileke region of Cameroon. Culturally they have strong traditions of masking and the region surrounding Bamenda, although famed for their masks and costumes, also produce statues in materials such as earthenware, bronze or wood. It has been made for sale to Europeans but remains a good example of its type. It was collected in 1947 by John Danford.

John Danford spent the majority of his professional life working for the British Council in West Africa. He spent 11 years as the representative in Ibadan, Nigeria, his arts education providing him with the insight to encourage and develop the arts in Nigeria. For his achievements in this area he was awarded an OBE in 1953. He occupied three further posts in Trinidad, Manchester and Sierra Leone before illness forced him into retirement. In 1964 a large portion of his West African arts collection was loaned to the University of Birmingham before being purchased in 1975, forming the nucleus of the Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts.

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