The name Cameroon is derived from the Portuguese camaráes (prawns), introduced by Portuguese navigators who from 1472 came for the crayfish in the Wouri river estuary. Called Kamerun in German and Cameroun in French, the estuary was later called the Cameroons River by British navigators. The Duala people living there were important traders, selling slaves and later palm oil to Europeans. On 12 July 1884 they signed a treaty establishing German rule over Kamerun. Originally covering the Duala’s territory on the Wouri, this German colony later expanded to cover a large area inland, to which the name Kamerun was also applied.
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