Sites and objects, indigenous library and the history of Laimbwe, Cameroon

Henry Kam Kah


This study focuses on the construction of the history of the Laimbwe people of Cameroon through indigenous methods of enquiry and/or epistemologies. These include analyses of surviving historical objects, sites and artefacts from the pre-colonial period to the reunfication of British Southern Cameroons with the Cameroun Republic in 1961. Some traditional items of the Laimbwe people of Cameroon and existing artefacts as well as sites reveal a very rich history with information that Western and conventional research have not vividly captured. In this paper, we reflect on the salience of these sources in understanding the rich socio-cultural and political history of the Laimbwe. There is a need to document this as an indigenous African library in this age of globali- sation so that indigenous knowledge systems are disseminated to a wider academic audience. A construction of Laimbwe history through these indigenous forms of the library present them as new perspectives of local epistemologies beyond the capture of the western library introduced into Africa during the colonial period and even before. It continues to shape the way African national and local histories are written based on Western interpretations and or epistemologies.

Key words: sites, objects, history, Laimbwe, Cameroon 

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