Mambila (Mambilla), Cameroon
Suah helmet crest. Some 20 to 25,000 Mambila, agriculturists and stockbreeders, inhabit the
region bordering Cameroon and Nigeria, to the north of Grassland. Although they confess
Christianity or Islam, they continue to maintain a masking tradition that serves to ensure
fertility and the cohesion of the community. Carved masks appear in the context of annual suaga celebrations, which are reserved for men,
while the women conduct their own suaga rites,
in which they use leaf and foliage masks. This zoomorphic mask represents either a cow
called suah duah or a dog called suah buah .These masks are worn on the top
of the head. The masks have individual names. Such masks are used twice a month at the
waxing and the waning of the moon and for the promotion of the welfare of the community.
They were also used at sowing and harvesting festivals.