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Photographer's Note

This is the Prince René Douala Manga Bell, leader of "Bali", one of the many districts in Douala downtown. I met him just before the Ngondo Ceremony I told you about the last few days.

I discovered that Prince Manga Bell had a palace located in Douala itself and ornated with many symbols (lions, crocodiles, a kind of magic key, etc...). Each district has a kind of traditional chief getting his power from his father.

Prince René Douala Manga Bell, Prince of the Sawa people, did live in France. He was a soldier during the Indochine war in the 1950's, then a french journalist at the ORTF. He did became Prince in the 1970's when he's old brother died since Alexandre had no son. I believe that he's a direct child of the King Manga Bell I just mentionned above.

René Douala Manga Bell has a large house in Bali but rules a large palace. Not the Pagoda built in 1905 by his father Rudolf Duala Manga Bell and located in the "Bonanjo" district but a new one called "Nyasam Betote" located in the "Bali" district.

One of his ancestors, the Bell king (Lobe Bebe Bele Ba Doo) was one of the 4 main kings who ruled the actual Douala together with Kings "Akwa", "Priso" and "Ekwalla". Each of them did rule a specific district of the actual Douala respectively called "Bonanjo", "Bonaberi", "Akwa" and "Deido". They were dealing with the European people within a court called "court of Equity" which was set up in 1856.

Vasylis, luisafonso, pgorod, eleparc, designsoul, manub has marked this note useful

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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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