Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Images of Power: Rulership in the Grasslands of Cameroon

November 2013 - May 2015

In the northwest grasslands of Cameroon, hundreds of independent kingdoms are ruled by monarchs called fons. These political and spiritual leaders create and administer laws, adjudicate in legal disputes, and act as vessels for the life energy of the kingdom's ancestors. "Images of Power" draws upon the Haffenreffer Museum's rich Cameroonian collections to examine the decorative arts of the fon's palace. From the stools on which he sits, to his drinking gourds, to the frames of the palace windows, every image and symbol serves to extol his power and prestige. Come learn how, despite the disruption of colonial and globalizing forces, potent traditional symbols like the fierce leopard and wise spider continue to empower modern kings. Curated by the Haffenreffer Museum Student Group.