Babungo museum
Permanent exhibition
The Kingdom, myth, legend and history
Society and religion
Arts and technics
Artist and craftmen
Babungo, itineraries of collective memory.
Informations

The Kingdom, Myth, Legend and History

Babungo (20 to 30,000 inhabitants) is one of the few hundred small kingdoms (or chefferies/chiefdoms /chieftaincies), which have gradually come into being over at least six centuries.Located in the Northwest province and in the Ngo-Ketunjia division, it extends in the highland plain of Ndop.

The emergence and evolution of the place are highlighted by historical facts, archaeological data and above all oral tradition, but more often than not uncertain and surrounded by myth, legend and even ideological considerations.

 
    Landscape of Babungo

 

According to the generally accepted version, a group of migrants, the Vengo, originally from “ Ndobo ” or the “ Tikar ” land, settled in the plain of Ndop to found the kingdom of Bavengo, Bamungu or Babungo before the 14th century AD, forming an alliance with the pre-established peoples including blacksmiths who had mastered a remarkable iron technology over more than 20 centuries.

The Vengo first settled in Forghai, today one of the most sacred spots of Babungo. Then, guided by a mysterious black ram given by Ngesekwa, the god of the place, they migrated to settle further away in Ngineh (where the venerated animal died), building the first royal palace.

There, using trickery, Saingi I stole a panther skin, the insignia of the power of the chief of the group and deposed the latter and imposed himself as fon (king), thanks to the support of his brothers, founding the current reigning dynasty of Babungo.

King Saingi II    
 

Twentyfive kings have succeeded to the throne of Babungo since Saingi I up to the fon reigning today Ndofoa Zofua III.

The history of the kingdom since its origins to the end of the 19th century is marked by many changes of the royal residence, the expansion of the territory, the wars against neighbouring kingdoms or invaders, the flourishing of the royal civilisation and the development of a remarkable court art under the impulse of powerful kings, some of whom were sculptors.

Various accounts including the reports by the first European visitors to Babungo from 1889 (the arrival of Dr Zintgraff at the court of the fon Saingi II), bear witness to the dazzling surroundings in which people lived in Babungo in the 19th century, report the splendour of the royal art and the quality of the metallurgy and artistic creations.

King Sake II    
 

King Zofoa II   King Ndofoa Zofua III

In the 20th century, the domination of the Germans, then the British and finally the postcolonial Cameroon state, the introduction and rapid expansion of Christianity and of Islam, the influence of Western culture, overwhelmed many aspects of the social, economic, political and religious life of Babungo, resulting in numerous changes.

     
     
     
   
     

Commemorative statue of king Seevezui

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