Anna Rein-Wuhrmann was a missionary teacher for the Basel Mission (BM) in Cameroon and gifted photographer. Rein-Wuhrmann was born as Anna Wuhrmann in Marseille, France, of Swiss parents. She was educated in Switzerland and trained as a teacher. In 1910 she was accepted by the BM and was sent to Cameroon in 1911, at that time under German colonial rule. She became principal of a girls’ school in Foumban, the seat of the influential Bamum king, Njoya. Her special relationship with Njoya enabled her to create a unique pictorial record of his kingdom before its conversion to Islam. In 1915 all Basel missionaries were interned by the British, and Anna Wuhrmann was forced to return to Switzerland. She went back to Foumban in 1920 in the service of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, as this part of Cameroon was now under French mandate. She returned to Switzerland in 1922; the next year she married R. Rein. a German teacher, and went to live in Germany, where she also took up teaching. Her husband died in 1943, and Anna Rein-Wuhrmann returned to Switzerland in 1945. She wrote a number of books, tracts, and articles on Cameroon and the people she had worked with.
Waltraud Ch. Haas
Anna Rein-Wuhrmann, Mein Bamumvolk im Grasland von Kamerun (1925)
Fumban, die Stadt auf dem Schutte: Arbeit und Ernte im Missionsdienst in Kamerun (1948)
——, Niemals zurueck, Erzaehlung aus dem Grasland von Kamerun (1948)
Rein-Wuhrmann’s photographs are reproduced and commented on in Henri Nicod and A. Rein-Wuhrmann, La danseuse du roi (1950) and in Christraud M. Geary, Images from Bamum: German Colonial Photography at the Court of King Njoya (1988). Her tracts and articles as well as correspondence and photographic collection are in the BM archive.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.