Life in the Cameroon Grasslands

by Hans-Joachim Koloss (1938 - 2013)
Formerly Museum für Völkerkunde

The late King of Wimbum, Northwest Province of Cameroon. Photo by Hans-Joachim Koloss. 

Though the king wears the clothes of the Moslems and though he is even the nominal leader of the Moslems as well as of the Christian churches, the traditional belief in God and the ancestors is still alive. The same is true for the old royal symbols, for example, the skin of a leopard and ivory tusks. Objects decorated with depictions of animals and human figures and also with beads including the calabash in this photograph are also the exclusive privilege of the king. Of highest importance are the royal stools. Because they are used by the king who was rubbed with special medicines at his enthronement, it is strictly forbidden and even dangerous for ordinary people to touch them.