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Photographer's Note

We had a three-day weekend and took this opportunity to go back to the North-west of Cameroon and visit the Fon palace of Bafut, one of the largest traditionnal palace in the country close to Bamenda.

We first visited the local museum displaying various statues, clothes, pieces of furnitures the past Fons (kind of Emperor ruling a large area) had. This museum was surprisingly well set and we learnt many things about the Bafut people. These people came from Tikari in the Adamawa province 400 years ago and progressively conquested the area of Bafut and the people around. They were involved in the slave trading in the 19th century.

Then, we had a look at the drum house, the courtyard and the palace called "Achum". That palace is the highest building in the compound and is only accessible to the Fon and the old people from the village. Today, about 300 people are living in the palace, mainly Queens (about 30) of the Fon, Prince and Princesses. Behind the palace, there is a large sacred forest with which the Fon is communicating.

Few times a year, large ceremonies take place in the palace, gathering people for traditionnal events. In the museum, I could see photographies taken by the German in the early 20th century with the Fon surrounded by his Queens on the steps of the "Achum". There were also additional picture from a ceremony in tribute to the father of the actuel Fon which took place in 1968. Queens from the Fon were gathering toward the dead Fon for a large ceremony.

We met that girl just before entering the palace yard.

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Additional Photos by Steven Le Vourc'h (Curioso) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 551 W: 273 N: 1552] (9271)
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