Exhibition: “On the way to Cameroon’s chieftaincy”, at

A new exhibition entitled On the road to the chiefdoms of Cameroon. From visible to invisible presents more than 200 works of historical and living heritage from the 16th century to the present day. Masks, fetishes, totems and thrones were graciously lent by 24 communities in the highlands of Grassfields in western Cameroon for exhibition at the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Museum in Paris.

It is the first – and a source of pride for the kings of Cameroon’s chieftaincy – to present art in its communities at the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris.

“The time has come to reveal our artistic richness because there is this mystery that surrounds the traditional principality of Cameroon’s grassland: visible and invisible art, to communicate with spirits, to talk to the invisible, which brings us back to pure and pure humanity, it’s our culture, “said King Zofoa of the Babungo chief, lending some of his kingdom’s most valuable items.

There is the throne that is exposed here and before it moved there were traditional rites to appease these objects that must travel outside the chiefdom. So it’s a big family reunion of notables and everyone to decide that it can go over to get far here in France. And there are still all these rites and the whole community will be there to receive these objects when it enters the community. A living heritage These Cameroonian leaders have invested with quasi-divine forces and ensure respect for traditions and act as a link between the world’s ancestors and the living.

“We have more than 240 works coming from Cameroon, including 200 that are still used by notables, traditional chiefs, queens, princes or by simple inhabitants,” explains Sylvain Djache Nzefa, curator of the exhibition. These are works that tell a story and therefore it was very important for us to present a living heritage and that there are no or very few shop windows. »

A journey within a principality and its mysteries Eighteen thrones, but also headdresses and gourds, masks, statues, fetishes and an elephant totem, symbol of power and wisdom, wound the way for this exhibition designed as a journey within a principality and its mysteries.

“All this is done through a traditional entrance that consists of a roof with 9 pyramids that symbolizes the advice of the notable,” explains the curator. “We have an architectural installation that shows the foundations of society through an axis called the axis of life that connects living to the ancestors, to the sacred forest, the totemic forest, the forest that also allows healing. Then he adds:” And in the world of the invisible you have these ancestors with whom we have a dialogue and who can be materialized through a stone, of wood and the third part presents the art in the service of the secret societies that participate in the balance of power in society.

An immersive and captivating exhibition that behind its visible part reveals a world that is nourished by the invisible.

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