A first-of-its-kind exhibit of West African artifacts is now available online through the Leo Dehon Library at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
The collection of early 20th Century royal and ceremonial pieces is from Fr. John Emonts, SCJ, a German missionary who served in Cameroon (then “German Cameroon”) from 1912 to 1916. In 1923 he came to the United States to help establish the Priests of the Sacred Heart in North America, commonly knowns as the SCJs.
A ceremonial wood mask, a miniature carved wood throne, an ornate iron spear, and a brass bird-shaped bowl are among the 40 objects pictured and described in the online Cameroon Artifacts Collection. It can be accessed at the Dehon Library website (Click to visit).
Frater Justin Krenke, an SCJ seminarian, created the online exhibit during the summer in collaboration with Fr. Wayne Jenkins, SCJ, archivist for the SCJs’ US Province, Susanna Pathak, director of the Leo John Dehon Library, and Ann Owen, SHSST librarian.
Frater Justin utilized resources in the archives and the Dehon Library during his research for the exhibit.
The artifacts can be viewed in-person at the Fr. John Emonts Museum, which includes the collection in the library wing of SHSST. They include pipes, swords, textiles and figurines from the Kingdom of Bamum, the pre-colonial West African state that is now part of Cameroon.
Besides the Cameroon exhibit, the Dehon Library link noted above also has links to resources about Fr. Leo John Dehon, the founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.