Laikom was the place of first settlement of Kom people, who believe they were led there from Bamessi by an incarnation--in python form--of their first Fon. As I have noted elsewhere (Shanklin, The Track of the Python, this volume), this myth emphasizes two important principles of Kom tradition--matrilineality and guidance by the ancestors--and, ..., the python has had important implications for Kom architecture, particularly Laikom architecture. Culled from Nawain Eugenia Shanklin's Research Paper titled - "The Path to Laikom: Kom Royal Court Compounds," Conference Proceedings: Palace Architecture, Grassfields Working Group, Oxford, 1982. Paideuma 31-111-150.
Kom Brief History: Oral traditions have been the unique source of Kom early history. Their traditions of settlement linked them with the so-called Tikar of the central Grassfields who migrated from the Upper Mbam river and its tributaries. The Grassfields which extend from the highlands of the North-Western to the Western regions of the country Cameroon, were for centuries, a 'scene of movement of small groups of peoples and the diffusion of institutions and material culture.
The Journey of the Afo-A-Kom or How Kom came to be known to the rest of the world. Kom is the name of a kingdom in West Africa somewhat north of the town of Bamenda, West Africa. Kom became prominent in 1973 when The New York Times published a series of articles about a sacred statue that had been stolen from the royal storage house and transported across the Atlantic, where it came into the possession of a New York art dealer. "... it was reportedly on sale for $60,000 US."
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