Incorporating artworks from the Fowler’s collection, Associate Curator of African Arts Erica P. Jones explores the connections between food, culture, and royal power in the palaces of the Cameroon Grassfields.
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About the Exhibition Dining with Kings: Ceremony and Hospitality in the Cameroon Grassfields features royal vessels from the Fowler’s collection, and reveals the connections between food, culture, and power in the palaces of the Cameroon Grassfields. This intimate study of hospitality in the western area of Cameroon in the 19th and 20th centuries highlights the beadwork, textiles, embroideries, and carvings that embellish terra-cotta vessels, drinking gourds, small bowls, and drinking horns. The use of restricted iconography and prestige materials in the creation of such vessels speaks to their important role within palace culture and demonstrates the ways in which food is about much more than sustenance—it is about status, diplomacy, and hospitality.