Howdy all. Well I have been going through my Cameroon diary and bringing you the dailies as they happened, albeit ten years ago now, from the this incredible destination. So today I wanted to bring something to you that I experienced whilst I was there, in Bamenda in the north-west of the country, and that is the Prescraft Center, a handicraft centre which is a great place to visit and especially good if you are looking for souvenirs etc from the West African nation.
When I look it up online today I am being told it’s in Bamenda, the main city in this part of the country however when I was there I visited it in or just outside Bamessing, not far from Bamenda. On closer inspection there is a place to buy the handicrafts made by Prescraft at Bamenda and the centre itself remains at Bamessing, near Sagba Hill.
Here they produce all sorts of handicrafts. It’s run by the Presbyterian Church, from which it gets its title ‘Prescraft Center’ – combing Presbyterian with Handicraft. According to their website they produce – pottery, Wood carving, Brass Casting and toys/games. At the Bamessing site – and I hope considering all the upheaval in Cameroon that it is still running, you can actually see the artisans at work, which is what I did back in 2011. It’s actually a really rewarding experience, they have a charming guesthouse attached which I regarded as the best accommodation I saw in Cameroon (although I didn’t actually stay there) and of course you can buy things (I bought a mask and a couple of other things). The prices were definitely really good, and it runs on ‘fair trade’ which means you know, or at least feel fairly sure that the artisans are getting decent and appropriate compensation for their work.
But the real joy of the place is being able to wander around and see the artisans at work – working with clay and wood mainly. And I think the best way to demonstrate that has to be in pictures, as I really don’t know what else I can say with words.
EXCEPT – if you are interested in fair trade wares from Cameroon, well, there is a store in Florida which sells artisans’ goods from Cameroon and the Prescraft Center – called ‘Artisans World Marketplace’. There page for Prescraft can be found HERE. Not sure if you can order online, perhaps not as far as I can see.
Certainly, when the world is open and Cameroon – this part of Cameroon – is safe for travel, do visit and buy something. There are skills and talent aplenty at the Prescraft Center! Thanks for popping by today! Take care, and May the Journey Never End!