THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES

Support for the Arts.

Artists are mostly self-supporting, although 7 percent of the national budget was devoted to recreational and cultural activities in 1996 and 1997.

Literature.

The Fulani are known for their oral literature, including poetry, history, stories, legends, proverbs, magic formulas, and riddles. Since the colonial period, written literature has had a strong history in the southern areas. Ewondo and Douala authors have contributed classics to modern African literature.

Graphic Arts.

Many groups produce pottery, textiles, and sculptures that are used as everyday household objects. Grassfielders (including the Bamiléké and Bamoun) are noted for blue and white royal display cloth, elaborately beaded calabashes, and sculptures that include royal reliquaries. The Bamoun are known for lost-wax bronze sculptures. The graphic arts of pastoral groups such as Fulani and Hausa are largely related to cattle herding.

Performance Arts.

Music and dance styles are essential to the celebration of funerals, weddings, and succession to high office.

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