Art et civilisation: Bangou, un paysage plastique meurtri

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Artistic productions, as well as other material products, are reflections of human societies. They are often the support of specific mental and symbolic conceptions and contribute to shaping an immaterial vision of Man and his environment. The Bangou chiefdom located in West Cameroon was no exception to this rule and during the pre-colonial period, it produced notable artworks. However, today it is extremely rare to find testimonies of this past. With the help of primary and secondary sources, we have tried to understand the reasons for this disappearance. Our research shows that it was the Germans who were the first to have damaged the artworks in Bangou at the very beginning of the 20th century. Then, after a beginning of reconstruction, the French government in 1957 burned down the chiefdom which was a major place of conservation of these works. The same phenomenon of destruction will be repeated by the Cameroonian army forces between 1960 and 1961. During this barbarism, the legitimate chief, who guaranteed artistic production, was forced into exile. After presenting the remains of the artistic creation still visible in the area, our article concludes by proposing possibilities for revalorizing this Bangou artistic expression necessary for its development.
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Archival date: 2021-07-26
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