Archaeological and Patrimonial Arts Fair: Cameroon’s History and Culture on display

The on-going first edition of the Archaeological and Patrimonial Arts Fair at the National Museum recounts and retraces Cameroon’s history and culture.

As soon as a visitor walks into the exhibition ground, he is greeted by drum and xylophone beats as he moves towards a tent reflecting the Centre Region decorated with relics.

Just beside is a mud house depicting the Fang Beti cultural zone of Cameroon.

Opposite, is an exhibition of a colonial administrative uniform, belonging to His Majesty Endeng Luc (1909 – 1994) of the Oveng community in the South Region of Cameroon.

History has it that His Majesty Endeng Luc was the founder of Oveng, a leader who attempted to disenclave the community by digging roads with his hands.

Beside the uniform are some metal items and pre-colonial coins which were used as currency for bride price in those days.

Further ahead is an exhibition of velvet caps, gowns and shirts beside a bamboo hut, all representing the Grassfields cultural zone.

Close by is a typical grassfield palace with the Fon’s chair, stools and other royal decor.

The next structure represents the Sawa cultural zone. It contains traditional stools and caps with an imposing canoe opposite the house.

 

The canoe is symbolic of the River Wouri that borders the land of the Sawas.

Northwards, like the map of Cameroon, is the Sudano-Sahel cultural group and their thatch houses.

A horse, symbolic of the normadic life of the people and their historical prowess in warfare is visible.

Also on exhibition are old shields used in battle. Hides and skins transformed into footwear and purses are also a major attraction.

At the other side of the exhibition ground are statues, traditional musical instruments, masks and stools, calabashes, ancient hoes, machettes and axes and colonial photos.

Home-made decor, necklaces, earrings, beauty products and soaps and traditional medicines could also be spotted all over the fair with the exhibitors calling out to almost every passer-by.

Food and drinks, both traditional and foreign, are available at various spots to boost the energy level of visitors.

Customers are kept entartained by sounds of traditional instruments and dancers.

Eleanor Ayuketah

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