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Volume 4

Cameroon Studies


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Swedish Ventures in Cameroon, 1883-1923

Trade and Travel, People and Politics

The memoir of Knut Knudson
With supporting material, edited and with commentaries by Shirley Ardener

304 pages, 5 maps, 12 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-725-9 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (August 2002)

ISBN  978-1-57181-311-4 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (August 2002)

eISBN 978-1-78238-871-5 eBook


Hb Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

“... a rich source of information on the detailed operation of a new colonial business venture and on a number of key events in the developments of the protectorate and the plantations. Accounts like this, which give details of the relationships between different groups of colonists and between colonists and Africans in nineteenth-century Cameroon, are rare and are great treasures.”  · African Affairs

“On being asked to review this book, it must be confessed, I was not bowled over with enthusiasm ... Once into the text of Knutson's Memoir, however, one becomes hooked, as well as convinced that this document was well worth translating from Swedish for publication.”  · African Affairs

“Knutson's memoir is very well balanced out with the addition of extracts from the diaries of some of those he refers to, as well as of other contemporary commentators on that region.”  · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“In publishing these two books [Swedish Ventures and Cameroon’s Tycoon] Berghahn have done West-Central African studies proud. The authors are highly regarded Cameroonists…The two volumes make an important contribution to the late pro-colonial and early colonial history of the Cameroons.”  · The Australasian Review of African Studies

"…a fascinating account…[of considerable] ethnographic and historical value."  · Social Anthropology

"While the volume is best suited for specialists of Cameroon, its coverage of economics, gender, ethnography and racial stereotyping also recommends the book to anyone interested in the multiple dimensions of European-African encounters. It would make a splendid assigned reading for courses on European colonialism generally and German imperialist ventures in particular."  · H-Net

The 1880s were a critical time in Cameroon. A German warship arrived in the Douala estuary and proclaimed Cameroon a protectorate. At that time, two Swedes, Knutson and Waldau, were living on the upper slopes of the Cameroon Mountain. Very little is known about their activities. One, Knutson, wrote a long memoir of his time in Cameroon (1883-1895) which is published here for the first time. It gives fascinating insights into everyday life in Cameroon and into the multifaceted relationships among the various Europeans, and between them and the Africans, at the end of the 19th century; we learn about the Swedes' quarrels first with the Germans and later with the British, over land purchases, thus revealing the origins of long on-going disputes over Bakweri lands. We are given vivid descriptions of Bakweri notables and their, and the Europeans', cultural practices, a rare eye-witness account of the sasswood witchcraft ordeal, and learn about Knutson's friendships with slaves. Together with appended contemporary correspondence, legal opinions, and early (translated) texts, this memoir must be considered as a unique and invaluable primary source for the pre-colonial history of Cameroon.

Shirley Ardener teaches at the Center for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, University of Oxford, and is a member of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, of which she was also the founding director.

Subject: General Anthropology Colonialism Travel & Tourism
Area: Africa



Contents

Chapter 1. Sweden and the Cameroons
Chapter 2. Fauna and Flora
Chapter 3. Misery and India Rubber
Chapter 4. The German Invasion, 1884-1885
Chapter 5. Travel in the Interior, 1885
Chapter 6. The Ancient Races
Chapter 7. Adventures on Cameroon Mountains and in Biaffran Swamps
Chapter 8. Religion and Customs of the Bakhiviris and Bobbokkos
Chapter 9. Slave Trade
Chapter 10. Black and White
Chapter 11. The Missionaries, the Explorers, and the Men I met at the Cameroons
Chapter 12. The Future of the Cameroons

Appendices:

Appendix I: Knutson and Waldau's Contracts with the Notables on the Cameroon Mountain

Appendix II: A Climb of the Big Peak of the Cameroon Mountain
K. Knutson

Appendix III: About the Ba-kwileh People
G. Valdau

Appendix IV: English Epitome of Waldau's "A Journey to the Country North of the Cameroon Mountain"
E. Ardener and E. M. Chilver

Appendix V: Sir Richard Burton's Visit to Mafanja, 1861-1862
Appendix VI: George Thompson's Stay in Mafanja, 1871-1889
Appendix VII: Stefan (Etienne) and Sczolc (Scholz)-Rogozinski, 1861-1896

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