Bamum Visions of Africa Series
  • Imprint: 5 Continents Editions
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2011
  • Price: $39.95
  • Trim Size: 6 12 x 9 12
  • ISBN: 88-7439-573-6
  • EAN: 9788874395736
  • Page Count: 160
  • Illustrations: 64 full-color and 15 black & white illustrations
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rights: US & Canada

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, artists working for the royal court of Bamum, in Cameroon, created elaborate bead-covered thrones and stools, wooden sculptures, masks in human and animal form, architectural carvings, and fine objects in bronze, ivory, and clay. This book focuses on the history, iconography, and meaning of these royal arts and looks at Western collectors who were fascinated by King Ibrahim Njoya (ruled 1886/7 to 1931) and the splendor of the royal court. Visual and written sources—including testimony by King Njoya and his courtiers, and extensive archival records—cast light on the strategies of a monarch who allowed visitors to acquire these arts to enhance the kingdom's reputation in distant Europe. The history of Bamum arts thus offers unique perspectives on African creativity and ingenuity, and European ways of collecting.

About the author

Christraud M. Geary is Teel senior curator of African and Oceanic art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She first visited Bamum in 1969 and has written extensively about the artistic traditions of this region, in particular its arts and photography.