Beadworking in Western Cameroon, Africa

Gourds, jewelry, wooden stools, sculptures, flywhisks, toys, baskets, and sculptures are some of the items that are covered with beads in Western Cameroon. Cloth is sewn to the surface of the object to be beaded, then beads are sewn onto the cloth, several at a time. Besides glass beads, pieces are also covered with seeds (seen at lower right) and cowrie shells. Cane beads are used to make jewelry.


Several beadworkers demonstrate their techniques:

The tip of a circular needle is used by a beadworker from Foumban to coax six to eight glass beads onto a piece of  heavy thread. The needle is then used to attach the beads to the burlap.
 
In Bahouan, the surface is covered with foam, then cloth. Beads are sewn on (several at a time) with a curved needle.

 
In Batie, stools are covered with cowrie shells.
 
In Mbouda, cane beads are used to make jewelry and other small items.

For more information about the beadwork of Cameroon, see "Beaded Objects from Western Cameroon," in Bead & Button, August 2002: 16-18.

Links:
African Arts/Handicraft and Environmental Management Institute (AFHEMI)
Art-Batik of Adehoumi Sikirou Shola
Bark Pictures of Claude Ngaha
Dschang Handicraft Center
Gtes Ruraux de l’Ouest
Wood Carving in Foumban
Metal Casting in Foumban
Ceramics of Foumban
Abdou Mfopa
 
Musa Heritage Gallery  
Tapestry Crochet in Cameroon
Cameroonian Basket Maker, Fokam Goufo Buhler  
Cameroonian Author, Mih John Fung  
Cameroonian Painter, Hilarion Wirdzeka Faison  
Nigerian Painter, Elcarver Rotimi Agbola   
Glass Bead Making in Odumase Krobo, Ghana
Ashanti Glass Bead Making in Daabaa, Ghana 

Tapestry Crochet  Home Page 

Carol Ventura's Home Page  

Recommended books:
Hans Knopfli has written the best books I have ever read about the crafts of Cameroon. Please go to his web page at http://www.kamerun.ch/html/en/home.html for more information about them.

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Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura and Andrzej Gutek.