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The town of Bafut in Northwest Cameroon is one of only two regions in Cameroon still ruled by a chief with  traditional power structures. These people originally came from the Northern regions of Lake Chad, and assumed control over the region some 400 years ago. Upon their arrival, the Bafut people built a palace for their king, the Fon of Bafut, which still contains the tombs of the first three Bafut kings. The Fon’s palace was later moved to its current location where it continues to attract tourist from all over the world.

Surrounded by a sacred forest in the heart of the town, the Bafut Palace compound consists of some fifty houses clustered around the site’s spiritual core, the Achum Shrine. The houses are used as royal court and as residence for the Fon’s numerous wives whose count approaches close to one hundred.

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The courtyard between the two Queens’ quarters with the Fon’s residence and Achum Shrine in the background. Photo credit: wmf.org

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