The Bamun live in the Grassland region, in western Cameroon. Their society was extremely hierarchical. Bamun peoples were led by a king, called fon, from the town Fumbam, assisted by hereditary officials and advisors and a few secret societies who worked to protect the power of the fon over his lands.
African Bamun art is very linked to the power hierarchy. There are many prestigious objects designed to display the power of the fon or dignitaries: commemorative statues, prestigious thrones, jewelry, ceremonial accessories, etc. The secret societies in the service of the Bamun royalty also had their prestigious objects and especially their traditional masks.

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