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Foumban and Around

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Coffe Table Photography book out now!

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

Foumban, a large sprawling city, is the capital of the Bamoun people, a civilization dating from the fourteenth century. It’s a supremely beautiful city with many sculptures, monuments and other decorations dotting the city. The extremely impressive Royale Palace was built in 1917, and now houses the Sultan’s Museum – a private collection of memorabilia from a long line of kings  – thrones, masks, weapons, shields, even a calabash (drinking bowl) decorated with the jawbones of enemies (yes, real).

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carvings in the museum

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Human jawbones on a calabash for drinking out of

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Pipes used by the massive king

One leader, Mbuémbué, was reportedly 2.6m (about 8 foot 6) tall and his regular voice is reported to have carried for over a mile! An entire room is dedicated to his stuff, which is of course all absolutely enormous.

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This is the new museum opening soon, a massive spider with two-headed snake surrounding it.

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The new museum at street level

Nearby is an entire district of town where extremely talented men and women are making and selling all kinds of “artifacts” – masks, sculptures, paintings, carvings – you name it, it’s here. I quickly realize this is extremely big business, and many of the men hand me professional business cards and make it clear they have experiencing exporting huge quantities to Europe and the USA. Most of the stuff is new, though they make it look old, although I am told the odd thing here and there is the genuine article, usually smuggled from Nigeria or around.

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All of these are for sale. They are not cheap

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He made these out of recycled bronze, by hand

One guy in particular I really like, who is making enormous statues out of recycled bronze. The work has taken six months already, and they are pre-sold in the USA for $50,000USD. Wow.

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The extremely expensive bronze statues

I thoroughly enjoy the city, the history and all the culture.

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A statue in town, because

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Guy on a horse

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The symbol of the two headed snake and spider is everywhere

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Yukon plates, Alaska snack bar. Did I take a wrong turn?


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4 Responses

  1. JC Crafford says:

    Awesome website. I enjoy all your news.

  2. Francois Glazener says:

    Howdy Dan,
    Thanks for your great reports, I really enjoy viewing them, make me travel in some countries I’ve been to, but much more detailed that what I know. Have a safe travel.
    As they say, merci patron !!!!

  3. Dale self says:

    Love your stories my son got me into you

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