Bafut King In Cameroon Has 100 Wives, 500 Children And Live In A Unique Palace That No Modern King Has

Salena Harshini |Feb 26, 2021

Although it is called a palace, it has 50 small and simple houses built of bricks around a thatched temple. The houses are where the King and 100 wives live.

The Bafut region, northwestern Cameroon is one of only two regions in Africa that is still ruled by its leader and traditional power structure. However, the head of this tribe is under the government of Cameroon.

Bafut people from the Lake Chad area came to live here about 400 years ago and built their palaces. Then, they relocated to the present location and become a tourist attraction for many of today's tourists.

Bafut King
Bafut King has a different life from other kings in the world.

The palaces that go against common knowledge

Talking about the palace, everyone thinks it will be a splendid, lavish construction with many rooms decorated with gold. However, this tribal king's palace consists of small and tiled houses.

Bafut Palace
The palace is actually bricked houses gathered in an area.

Bafut Palace is surrounded by a sacred forest in Northwest Cameroon. The work shows cultural identity and is also the place where religious or traditional rituals take place. There are more than 50 houses built around the Achum Temple - the spiritual center of the Bafut people.

Bafut Palace 2
The houses are near a sacred forest.

Meanwhile, house roofs are used for the king (called Fon), his wives, and the royal family to live.

The houses here were rebuilt in the early 20th century after a catastrophic fire. By 2007, many roofs were dilapidated, somewhat collapsed.

Bafut Palace 3
The villagers often carry out their rituals at their Achum temple.

Multiple roof leaks also threatened the integrity of the structure. Therefore, a renovation project has been carried out in order to preserve the works.

The Bafut King and his wives

The ruler of Bafut is King Abumbi II who has 100 wives and 500 children. He was the 11th king of Bafut and ascended the throne after his father's demise in 1968.

Bafut King And Wives
The Bafut King with some of his wives. Imagine if we can see him with the remaining 498 wives.

As a traditional tribal ruler, he also inherited his father's 72 wives. Previously, King Abumbi himself was married to 28 people. In Cameroon, it is not uncommon for a man to marry multiple wives.

His wives are very important to him, said King Abumbi II. He is responsible for preserving the traditional culture of the tribe and the land they live in. The queens of King Abumbi II are well educated and could speak many languages.

Bafut Cameroon
Life in the Bafut is a contrast from all the places for royalty we can see in the world.

Achum Temple is the central structure of the palace. It is made of wood, bamboo, and thatched on the roof. Currently, the temple still preserves valuables. This is considered a typical, impressive work of traditional religious architecture.

Bafut Temple
Achum Temple is the central structure of the palace made of wood, bamboo and thatched on the roof.

Today, the Bafut Palace is one of Cameroon's most important heritage. Over the years, many tourists coming to Cameroon to visit this special palace.

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