Peoples & Societies


The Cameroon Grasslands is home to the Bamum peoples; their capital, Foumban, is in the Northwest Province of Cameroon. The 100,000 Benue-Congo-speaking Bamum are farmers and herders who live in villages presided over by hereditary headmen. They are among the few African peoples to have developed their own system of writing, which is largely ideographic or pictographic. Bamum sculptors emphasize depth and roundness in their wooden masks and other objects.

Adapted from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 300.

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