The art heritage of the Royal Bamoun of Cameroon

2010-05-15 12:59

THE Royal Bamoun people of Cameroon are renowned for producing the best ­objects d’art (handmade art pieces) in the country.

Hailing from West Cameroon Chief Ousmane Foundikou is a proud ­descendant of the Bamoun peoples.

Born in Foumban, he is the only one in his family who “dared” to follow his dream of working with arts and crafts.

Foundikou has been trading as a ­specialist at the Rosebank Craft Market for the past eight years. Some of his favourite pieces of Bamoun art are:

» Objet 1
La Reine Mere de Bamoun/ Queen Mother of the Bamoun

A bronze sculpture piece depicting a beautiful woman. The details of the tattoos on her face and her ornate hairstyle show her beauty. The chameleon perched on top of her head demonstrates the Queen Mother’s charm and her power to be able to change in response to circumstances. A rare once-off piece.

» Objet 2:
Fertility Doll

A symbolic doll representing fertility and abundance. Fertility is understood as ­procreation and also prosperity.

» Objet 3:
Batcham Chair

An enthronement chair used during a ceremony performed when an heir is enthroned as the head of the family. This chair is used in families of all social standing in the Bamoun tradition.

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