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The Art of the Bambui fondom/Kingdom

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This project sets forth plans for a detailed study of the historical and contemporary art of the Bambui fondom in the western Grassfields. It aims to examine the social, political, religious and cultural meanings of the different categories of artefacts and art in the fondom. Understanding the historical and contemporary context within which artefacts and art are produced and used is particularly important, as numerous studies have already highlighted, because it corresponds to current art-historical research which aims at integrating the works in their specific ecological, social, and cultural environments (Notue and Triaca 2000; Brain 1972; Warnier 1975; Geary 1983, 1996; Knopfli 1997, 1998 and Nkwi 1987, 1996). It is also important because it will serve as a stepping stone towards the reconstruction of the history of the artistic and cultural heritage of the Bambui fondom in particular, and the western Grassfields as a whole.

Biography: Mathias Alubafi is a Research Fellow on the Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Programme and a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Cambridge. His area of interest is traditional and contemporary African art, with special focus on the art of the Cameroon Grassfields. He has been conducting fieldwork in western Grassfields since 2004 and is currently completing a monograph on the treasures or art of his native village, the Bambui fondom/Kingdom in the Grassfields.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Michaelmas Seminars series.

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