Art and Craft
Traditional arts and craft are found to be prevalent all over the country for commercial, decorative and religious purposes. Woodcarvings, sculptures, pottery, bead working are prevalent supported by basket weaving, brass and bronze working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, and leather working. Bamileke, Bamoum and Tikar are renowned for their wood carvings and sculptures. They are also noted for blue and white royal display cloth, elaborately beaded calabashes, and sculptures that include royal reliquaries. The Bamoum are also known for their bead working and lost-wax bronze sculptures. Pastoral groups such as Fulani and Hausa create art forms that are mostly related to cattle herding. The graphic arts of pastoral groups such as Fulani and Hausa are largely related to cattle herding.
The Cameroon craft industry derives its rich resources from the presence of a large number of ethnic groups and a vast array of cultures and traditions.
You can admire the dexterity of the craftsmen and women and purchase objects such as:
• leather goods,
• local skins and fabrics,
The palace of Sultan Bamoun de Foumban,famous throughout the world, contains a rich and very interesting collection which reflects the history of the Bamoun people. One of the most popular places here is without doubt the street where the craftsmen and women work and where the Bamoun craft industry is practised on a daily basis, based on sculptures in bronze and other different metals, as well as a large selection of pottery.
The Djingliya Crafts Centre, located 10km from Mokolo town in the Far North region, is easily accessible and has a permanent display of works of art. The local art museum and the crafts centre with its tannery makes the town of Maroua one of the largest tourist attractions in the country.
In West, North-West and South-West Cameroon exist a Museum in nearly all Kindgdoms where tourists can find different objects showcasing the culture of the whole Africa. Some of them are from Soudan, Ethiopia…
Literature and Films
Known for their oral literature including poetry, history, stories, legends, proverbs, magic formulas, and riddles, the Fulani have been found to contribute greatly to the literature of Cameroon. Modern African literature has been endowed with works of Ewondo and Douala authors. Educated and encouraged by European missionary societies many authors like Louis-Marie Pouka and Sanke Maimo have advocated and praised colonialism and assimilation into European culture. Post World War II, however, colonialism was analyzed and criticized by writers such as Mongo Beti, Ferdinand Oyono, and others and assimilation rejected. In The post colonialism and problems of an African identity and development were issues much prevalent in the works of Beti and others post 1960.
Similar themes were taken up by film makers like Jean-Paul Ngassa and Therèse Sita-Bella post independence. Later in the mid 70’s conflicts between traditional and post colonial society were highlighted in the works of filmmakers such as Dikongué Pipa and Daniel Kamwa . Cameroonian themes was what found importance in both literature and films during the next two decades or more.