In the west of present-day Cameroon, a highland region known as the Grasslands or Grassfields shelters numerous tiny states: the Bamenda cultural area in the north, the "Bamileke" kingdoms in the south and the Bamum kingdom in the east. Before the colonial era, these kingdoms vied with one another in prestige and riches as well as in art and architecture. The kings commissioned the best sculptors and bronze casters from the neighbouring regions.
Masks performance. Bamum Kingdom. Photo by Anna Wuhrmann, Foumban, around 1920. Gifted by Josette Debarge in 1932. © Archives MEG
© 2021 Musée d'ethnographie, Genève