Traditional Bamoun and Duala Political Powers through the Prism of Cameroon


Scientific Essay, 2022

21 Pages


Free online reading

TRADITIONAL BAMOUN AND DUALA POLITICAL POWERS THROUGH THE PRISM OF CAMEROON’S POST-COLONIAL STATE : CONTINUITY OF WESTERN COLONIAL TRADITIONS

Summary :

After having been confronted with the transformations induced by the German, French and then British colonization, the traditional political powers Bamoun and Duala will come up against the mutations introduced by the emergence of the Cameroonian postcolonial state. It will undertake a process of adaptation to local sociological realities such as tribe, vernacular languages, or the territoriality that will lead to divisions and fragmentation within communities in the name of the recovery of national political resources.

Abstract :

After having been confronted with the transformations induced by German, French and then British colonization, the traditional Bamoun and Duala political powers will come up against the changes introduced by the outbreak of the Cameroonian postcolonial state. It will engage in a process of adaptation to local sociological realities such as the tribe, the vernacular languages, or even the territoriality which will lead to divisions and fragmentations within the communities in the name of the recovery of national political resources.

Mots-clés: Pouvoirs politiques traditionnels Bamoun et Duala, Etat Postcolonial Camerounais, Réalités Sociologiques.

Keywords: Bamoun and Duala Traditional Political Powers, Cameroonian Postcolonial State, Sociological Realities.

INTRODUCTION

The first scheme of influence concerns the progressive establishment of the German colonial administration in the territory of Bamoun and Duala. In the Bamoun country, the missionaries were the first to establish contact with the Bamoun kingdom and this resulted in a fraternal friendship between the missionary GOHRING and King NJOYA. It was a boon for the Bamoun people who were able to benefit from German dexterity in the military and in the arts. This brotherhood will be all the more strengthened because of the help provided by the Germans to cover the skull of King NSANGOU by the Bamoun. In addition, the Bamoun people participated in the wars of conquest of other local peoples to enjoy many privileges from the new administration. As for the Duala chiefs, the main dynamic revolved around the participation of German traders in the conquest of the territory through the signing of various treaties, the most important of which is that of 12 July 1884 and which will mark the birth of Cameroon international. This influence was most apparent around the land issue that will lead to the demarcation between « indigenous » and « white » neighbourhoods. This segregation will give rise to demands from the Duala chiefs who will either be removed, deported or murdered.

The second pattern of influence concerns the adaptation made by the German colonial administration to the traditional political entities Bamoun and Duala. Indeed, King NJOYA has set up a number of counterpowers, namely a syncretic religion that combined Christian, Muslim and Bamoun values. He also objected to the act of baptism, which he believed should come from his power as the supreme spiritual leader of the Bamoun people and not from Western culture. He produced an original writing called the « Shumom » that survives time and space. He will also have in the eyes of the world an image of political strategist, builder and visionary that will put an end to the myth of the inferiority of the Black. For the Duala context, the acquisition of certain customs duties and the economic rivalries generated by the wage royalty between the chiefs fostered the emergence of an explosive situation. Although benefiting from substantial financial advantages, the Duala chiefs challenged German supremacy, due to the policy of expropriation on the Joss plateau. They will initiate petitions, armed attacks that will end on 08 August 1914 at the hanging of King DOUALA MANGA BELL in the company of his cousin and secretary NGOSSO DIN.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, underground, then in the open and often spectacular way since the Second World War, we are witnessing at all levels, in all social categories and in all latitudes, an immense process of desaliénation1.

Of course, this phenomenon cannot hide the opposite action, that of uniformity and all the alienating forces that are at work today, more or less insidiously, both in economic and social relations and in political struggles2. It seems, moreover, that it is precisely in order to respond to this challenge, of which we are beginning to become clearly aware, that this demand develops in the difference which goes hand in hand with the dealeation, so that the major fact since the last quarter of the twentieth century is undoubtedly, according to the formula of Henri LEFEBVRE, « the titanic struggle where homogenizing powers and differential capacities clash »3.

It is, among other things, to demonstrate that identity is also built by territory, geographical space produces emotionally, culturally and symbolically, and this in several aspects : that of the landmarks that man builds in this space, from the point of view of the social relations maintained by individuals in this space. Based on the postulates, we can affirm with Chantal BLANC-PAMARD that « cultural identity and geographical identity are merged in the same space and give birth to the territory »4.

The contributions contained in the work edited by Claude-Hélène PERROT and François-Xavier FAUVELLE-AYMAR5 show the evolution and forms of customary powers, their transformation and even their manipulation and resurgence in contemporary times. They show the social and political relations between leaders and public authorities, above all that leaders, in their role as intermediaries between the State and their populations, are from the colonial era, caught in the harness of a double legitimacy and a double loyalty6. In addition, Raymond LECOQ discovered at its base the development of a « community spirit by customary societies, which discuss the work to be undertaken, the contributions to be paid for joint purchases »7.

It is clear why Vincent MULAGO said : The African does not live in his own life, but in the life of the community. He knows that detached from this community, he would no longer have material and spiritual means to exist. Above all, he knows that life is a participation in that of his descendants, and that its preservation and strengthening depends on it continually8.”

The term “traditional leader” is itself unknown to the lexicon of socio-political organizations in pre-colonial Africa. It is an innovation of the colonizer that the postcolonial state has simply recovered and refined.

Indeed, originally, this expression is contemporary with the arrival of the European colonizer. It enters the Cameroonian legal and administrative vocabulary with the decree of 4 February 1953 under the expression « indigenous chief ». This text determines the superior chiefs, the heads of groups and the heads of villages. This text is supplemented by a second decree adopted on March 1, 1933, which covers the distribution of administrative subdivisions as follows : the superior chiefdoms, the lamidats or sultanates9, the groups or cantons10, the villages or districts11. The traditional chief reports directly to the hierarchical authority of the state representative in his constituency : his method of appointment, his responsibilities, his financial treatment and his disciplinary regime make him a public agent. As such, the French administrative judge decided in the GBOABAN12 case that the village chief must be regarded as a local official and that, consequently, any dispute related to his appointment must follow the administrative litigation procedure as established by the texts. In the Bamoun, Bamiléké and Peul countries in particular, the current 2nd or 3 rd degree chiefs were appointed by the current superior chiefs. By transferring this power to the administrative authority, the decree of 1977 following the decree of 1933, destroyed this chain of dependence which held the building of authentic traditional command13.

Toponymy is at the heart of society’s relationship with space and it expresses one facet of the political dimension of this relationship. It carries meaning, values, in a built space and sometimes for a given time, in relation to social groups14. It participates in the division of space, a territory identified and named, being a defined and delimited territory.

Toponymy is intentional. Places and territories have meaning, and for each community, toponymy has meaning15. There is no hesitation in using the concept of Aboriginal peoples to question the rights of “Aboriginal peoples”. The resulting exclusion practices have been based on a common principle of historical anteriority synthesized by Jean-François BAYART and Peter GESCHIERE in the formula “I was there before”16, a principle which has succeeded in expressing and naturalizing social divisions.

This autochtonia is expressed in a variety of modes, including the rhetoric of belonging to ancestrality ; its strength seems to lie above all in its ability to articulate different levels of identity in a context of volatility of economic and political processes17.

I. TRADITIONAL BAMOUN POLITICAL POWER IN THE FACE OF THE PLURALISM OF MODERN CAMEROONIAN POLITICAL LIFE

Political pluralism in Cameroon is manifested by the existence of several formations which, it is normal to say, do not have the same weight in the political space. If the Democratic Assembly of the Cameroonian People, party in power, appears as a political party spread over the whole territory, with extensions in some European countries like France or England, This is not necessarily the case for the Democratic Union of Cameroon, which is still presented for a long time as a regional party, except for a political party whose electoral base is members of the Bamoun community18.

Thus the tribal, even regionalist, character is a factor that will reflect the inability of some leaders to be able to convince the electorate, through their program, in its socio-professional, linguistic and cultural diversity. Indeed, political practice in Cameroon has always faced the question of fragmentary identities where membership of a political party is not unconnected with the ethnic origin of the main leader and the ethnic representativeness of the main leader and the ethnic representativeness of the influential members of said formation, when it is not simply customer networks that are involved. Thus, the deployment of certain political parties on the ground acquired by other parties is not always easy, since resistance and even confrontations are sometimes recorded.

In this context, beyond the existence of several political formations in the Noun, a different perception of the relationship to the other, the brother, the parent or the head of the family, built on the basis of belonging, de facto or imaginary, from the other to one of the two major political tendencies present in the locality. There are two major political parties that share the electoral voices in Noun and animate the debates that break down family ties : the Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais (RDPC) – the ruling party – and the Union démocratique du Cameroun (UDC) whose charismatic leader, Adamou NDAM NJOYA, is a son of the royal court.

There were also Bamoun families with a political anchor attached to the UPC, including the family of Félix-Roland MOUMIE who, at the time of the nationalist demands of the 1960s, was Secretary General of the Union des populations du Cameroun (UPC). Over the years, this family has joined the UDC19.

This bipolarization of the Bamoun society will also be observed on the religious level, with the cohabitation of two major religious movements, Islam on one side and Christianity on the other. In the local popular imagination, the RDPC is presented as the party of Christians and urban elites, with all the officials of the Cameroonian public administration, intellectuals and other businessmen, In short, the party that brings together all those who are concerned about their professional careers and economic activities.

As in the past, the traditional authorities were therefore obliged to continue their mission as auxiliary to the administration by controlling the subversive opinions that might arise in their district of command. Next to this is the Democratic Union of Cameroon (UDC), a formation with a regional base, perceived as the party of Muslims and constituted by the rural mass and all the disadvantaged classes20.

The political history in the Bamoun country holds that it is not only the UDC that came to put an end to more than forty years of control of the municipality by the traditional leadership, but also crystallized the tensions between the members of the same family in the name of politics. The main fact behind these antagonisms is that the political legitimacy of the current Sultan (now deceased), Ibrahim MBOMBO NJOYA, was weakened by the loss of the municipal elections (RDPC) against his cousin Adamou NDAM NJOYA, leader of the UDC. For our informant NJOYA, living in Yaoundé, “We have long lived in a situation where the town hall was held by the palace.

The former King, notably the father of the present one, had for a long time been mayor of Foumban. So the traditional authority was somewhat confused with the municipal authority. In 1996, I think, the UDC took the spotlight from the RDPC, winning the municipal elections. What in morals was not imaginable. It created a crisis in that it was the kingdom, through the King, that had control over the land21.”

Since then, the moral authority of the monarch has been seriously weakened, torn between the reaffirmation of his attachment to the ruling party and the restructuring of his moral authority deconstructed by the democratization of speech. For Ibrahim, engineer, it is clear that : The accession of a good part of the Bamoun to the UDC is almost like a sanction that the kingdom maintains with the populations are challenged by the people. And the political context creates a pretext with these bonds of domination22.”

The weakening of family ties within the Bamoun families will thus be reinforced over the years, at the rate of this bicephalism of the political space, the play of interests and political clientelism.

For, as much as the UDC has long been presented as the political party of the Bamoun community, so much the party in power intends to maintain its position as a leading party that leaves little chance to its political opponents. However, the electoral stakes are so important for the Noun elites, those who recognize themselves as activists of the party in power, that it would not be wise to leave the Noun to the opposition. It would not only be a loss of confidence in the power in place, but also a loss of authority of the heads of families in front of the young people and their children23.

For MIMCHE, son of the terroir met during a thorough interview, it is clear that : Activism in either party translates membership in a social category. For a long time this was the case and the UDC remained a party of expression of the somewhat vulnerable social categories, including farmers, peasants, housewives, etc.” (Mimche H. & Alawadi Z., 2011)24.

Thus, the aristocratic character of royalty and the centuries-old frustrations of the marginalized and disadvantaged peoples of the kingdom, to which is added the revolt of certain sections of the population concerned with changing the political system, will activate social and political tensions in the Noun. If these forms of popular protest are expressed in a hidden way within families, they are revived in a period of electoral overheating. Aziz NJOYA argues that : In all families there are two camps that clash. There is the camp of the Rdpécistes and there is the camp of the Udcistes. Officially, they’re not going to claim themselves as such, but in their different behaviours, we see that— Usually when there is an event in the family, when speaking, the RDPC wants to intervene and the UDC also wants to intervene. These interventions are not for funeral or religious purposes, they are generally political interventions. These are the messages we are sending, the sensitizations we are raising. And the order in the speaking is a very important element where when so-and-so has spoken, the other must no longer speak. And it creates fights in families25.” Over time, too, these divisions on the basis of political positioning have become somewhat diluted, in the absence of a real change at the level of decentralized local authorities where the UDC has had a monopoly on the management of these units for several decades. As a consequence of this bipolarization of the political space in the Noun, it turns out that the political fact is invited in organized family events, depending on the magnitude of the event and the political capitalization that may result.

NSANGOU, another informant met in Foumban, maintains that the rural environment remains the favorable framework for observing these rivalries between brothers of Noun, in the name of the conquest of the electorate, where any gathering opportunity is retrieved and capitalized for political purposes.

He argues that “In urban areas, these tensions are no longer very visible, but in rural areas, these tensions remain relevant around the political chapels… they are often experienced in family ceremonies, funeral practices. Around a parent’s funeral, we can see political struggles in terms of financial contribution, assistance or public speaking26.” Thus, a family ceremony becomes a space for political expression, revived by latent tensions that reflect both the challenge of the current political system and the members who represent it27.

Sometimes even, there are cases where family members concerned by the event, but belonging to another political chapel, cultivate a resistance, a reluctance even to ask or accept aid from members of another political party.

The MIMCHE informant goes in the same direction by saying that “ (…) the bipolarization of the political space in families has sometimes led to the reinforcement of a certain categorization and even a stigmatization… There have been bereavements or ceremonies where people refuse to eat, because everything is confused with the money of the DPRK— We have seen cases where people swore that they would not ask parents for services because they belong to other political chapels. There have been cases where offers and donations are offered, but people simply refuse to take them because they do not belong to the same political party28.” This observation shows that the political fact, in its component on freedom of expression and political affiliation, has not only « happy » consequences for societies where the challenge of the power of the leader, whether monarchical or unitary, was made by the detour of speech or silence. Everything or almost becomes controversial, even a simple talk with the « people from below » can degenerate into a real family crisis29.

In the minds of many, the mere questioning of a speech can come to be suspected, and even sometimes referred to political interpretations. Moreover, when the nature of the discussion is oriented towards criticism of the governance of the UDC, it creates suspicions even if the political affiliation of the discussant is not clearly determined.

In this movement made of suspicion and tension, even the simple discussion between brothers becomes problematic, for example because the positions, or even simply the political questions collide with social positions inherited from tradition and which, for the occasion, are reactivated as soon as they allow to avoid the discussion, to put an end to it.

Hence this testimony of our informant Ibrahim, where we see how the mobilization of traditional social hierarchies (here the age difference) allows to reinterpret this desire to discuss in breach of the respect of the elder : I have a brother, a cousin, who, considering his age a little older than mine, thinks I can’t reason with him, that is to say, get him to question his political opinions a little bit critically.

When I arrive in the village, he tells me that the president of the UDC went to the United Nations and fought for the price of coffee to go up. I invited him to talk and he said he can’t even listen to me— He says that “we came up with our ideas here”, because I asked him how coffee prices are negotiated with the WTO.

From there it was distance. We didn’t greet each other for months. He told his kids not to talk to me anymore, because I’m here to convert them to the logic of the DPRK, whereas I just wanted to get him to understand the logic behind international trade and the president of a party has nothing to do with it30.”

The deep-seated nature of these politically-oriented family tensions is sometimes rooted in the nature of the relationship between heads of families and the sultanate. For there are cases where chiefs have a traditional authority and responsibility, sometimes directly allied with the sultanate31.

In some cases, the traditional elites will be torn by the need to assume their traditional status with political implications in relation to the sultanate, and the constraints of the mass of people they manage in the family. This contributes to weaken parental authority, in a context of modernity where a confusion has settled between the political fact and the affairs of families.

This is the experience that Aziz NJOYA has in his family : « My grandfather is Nji, so great notable and was grand chief, he is subject to the kingdom and is in the RDPC. There are also notables in the family where some are in the RDPC and others in the UDC. This creates situations that are such that sometimes there are confusions where the authority of the head of the family, who is the grandfather, is called into question simply because he belongs to the RDPC. The respect he deserves as the main traditional leader of the family is weakened »32. This reconfiguration of the political landscape has profoundly changed the nature of relations between members of the same community, to the point where a simple debate can degenerate into an intergenerational or family crisis. These tensions have also had religious consequences, not only with the birth of other religious brotherhoods, but also other places of prayer and other mosques within the Muslim community. There are people who believe that the celebration should be done with the opposition leader Adamou NDAM NJOYA and not with the sultan, considered for years as the religious leader of the entire Muslim community Bamoun.

Thus, political activism is read as a family affair and therefore becomes a factor of deconstruction of ties or (re)construction of relationships with others, whether family or social33.

II. TRADITIONAL DUALA POLITICAL POWER IN THE FACE OF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL TRANSFORMATIONS OF CAMEROONIAN SOCIETY

The land system is the product of political history. The colonization of space was done in the lignager mode… The head of the lineage, holder, granted to the other members of the lineage permanent rights of culture transmissible by inheritance34.

Paul PÉLISSIER also recalls the three principles that govern the land: first, it is the clearing that founds the land control, it is the exploitation of the land, its development that means the sustainability of the tenure; second, every member of the community has access to land use based on their capacity to work and their needs, so that the concept of “landless peasant” is totally foreign to African culture; and third, the founding principle, probably the most original and the most threatened is that the living are only the usufructuaries of a good which does not belong to them and which consequently is inalienable35. The impact of German colonization on the future of land is expressed through the 189636 “Kronland Verordnung37 ”. In the 1920s, the French colonial administration implemented this project of separate commercial and residential areas in the colonial city of Douala, as well as the construction of a modern port on the traditional residences of the Duala clans on the bank of the river. As backcountry landowners assigned to them in New Bell38, the Duala, as an increasingly small minority, are not more popular among inland immigrants. Some of their tenants say they have not changed their slave-trading mentality39.

Eric DE ROSNY recounts in “The Eyes of My Goat40,” a typical episode, « The Duala and their loved ones, the Wuri River and the coastal population fear the overwhelming invasion of the Bamileke, who have already occupied half of the city. They accuse the Douala of renting their land at exorbitant prices. The realization of uniting the two communities in a single church and alternatively singing the first song about Douala, the next one about Bamileke and so on cannot sing enough the pastor »41.

In the 1920s, a literature appeared that illuminated the image of the German colonial period – as a form of anti-colonial resistance, sometimes even nostalgia, while foreign domination continued42. Precolonial “jengu” justice and German colonial justice both have a reputation for effective justice43.

In the field of education too, there has been a nostalgic attitude in favour of the Germans44. The term 'immigrant', 'alien' or 'non-native' carries many pejorative connotations which can therefore lead to a stigmatization of the population which is considered as such. The distinctions thus made, often the expression of land rights, are, in some areas, the cause of land conflicts between those who claim to be indigenous and those who claim the right to be indigenous45. The customary land system will falter. Several new elements will gradually lead to transformation.

This is the introduction and expansion of cash crops including coffee as a primary source of monetary income for most populations, the monetization of land transactions and the growing tendency to consider land as an ordinary commodity, population growth, and increasing numbers of livestock46. In fact, the imperial ordinance establishing the land regime made the Reich the owner of what was called « vacant and without master »47 48.

It allows the German government to go through land commissions to turn all lands that are not in private hands or actually exploited collectively by a village community into crown property. Here we see the entry into the scene of a supreme authority foreign to the populations, which reserves the right to determine what belongs to these populations and what does not belong to them. In addition, it recognizes private property, hence a tendency to juxtapose two models since next to the property in a private hand may exist the collective possession of a village community, the only condition in the latter case is that the land is actually developed.

Under the mandate of the League of Nations49, the French administration by a decree on January 12, 1927 and that of July 21, 1932 extended the land laws of French Equatorial Africa50 and Cameroon. These decrees were part of the continuation of the « vacant lands without master » as under the German administration and allowed the natives to enter into possession of the lands by the establishment of a land title51.

This right was used to integrate customary lands into the domain of the State, in order to then assign them to colonial companies52.

After the Second World War, the Dualas aspired to a broader and politically influential unity with the peoples of the coastal region bound by language. They profess to be known as « Sawa » and since 1949, they organize the annual festival « Ngondo » in the district of Deido in Douala with famous regattas of pirogues, initially organized on the date of the « protection contract » from 1884 until the festival was moved to the dry season in December. The long canoes adorned with colourful beaks adorn every tourist brochure today. The war pirogues of the former Duala elites are reborn there. The traditional Ngondo ritual to appease the gods of the river is not forgotten, but plays a subordinate role in relation to the sporting and social event53. Since the independence of Cameroon, more and more immigrants from the interior have allowed the « Megapolis Douala » to proliferate and so far all the planning urbanism has become a waste. Each new traffic route becomes the starting point for new wilderness settlements. Today’s Duala are divided into urban and rural Duala. Those who live in the cities, especially in Douala itself, earn their living mainly in various scholarly and unskilled jobs54.

Many Duala still own parts of the city, which allows them to live on rents and investments. On the other hand, the rural Duala strata work as fishermen and farmers, mainly at subsistence level. Fishing is “the activity of their choice55.”

The allogeneic no longer constitute a homogeneous mass at most divided into «literate» and «unlettered»: now appear the «Yaoundé», the Bamileke, the Bassa... Among these elements, it was first the “Yaoundé” who dominated in numbers, which led them to see one of their own promoted to the rank of Chief Superior of Cameroonian foreigners in the city – until that date, allogeneic Chiefs Superiors reported to the indigenous Chiefs Superiors… After the «Yaoundé» came the «Grassfield» or Bamileke, elements that the administration looked with a certain distrust: (They are the intermediaries, the profiteers of the situation. They regulate the indigenous life and have created a most advantageous situation for themselves. They are not loved but we know how to make ourselves indispensable)56.

Soon, more precisely in 1938, they supplanted the original Béti-Fang groupings. Accepting to work for meagre wages, as well as in the most humble jobs, the immigrants « Grassfield » take all the places that were once almost entirely held by the Duala. The Duala, who considered themselves to be a people of gentlemen, and whose laziness and insolence are often equalled only by the scoundrel, were favoured by the European employers of Bamileke immigrants, and for the important commercial jobs, of foreigners: Dahomeans, Lagotians… Another sign of the times, some wealthy «Grassfields» managed to marry «Douala» girls57. Indeed: Because of the fact that they consider themselves too noble to deal with their affairs only through intermediaries, added the administrator, the indigenous population is gradually being relegated to the background by foreigners. The same applies to planters who end up having their plots of land stripped of the plantations they own in neighbouring subdivisions. There is a phenomenon in front of which we must adopt a well-defined attitude : or let it do and even promote external immigration, or on the contrary, if not stop it at least58.” In any case, it was no longer possible to stop this immigration, and there were also old accounts to settle.

It is therefore with serenity that we recorded that “after having been invaders themselves, the Duala will know in their turn the situation of invaded and perhaps even that of repressed. This in a peaceful form certainly »59.

Thus, the administration finally understood that the “ferocious attachment of the Douala to the ground (was) basically only the unconscious feeling of this situation”60. In 1941, the administrator of Douala in his report described them as follows : We are no longer dealing with homogeneous societies, but with disparate aggregates of individuals. It may not be a bad thing, for the purpose I seek, to make them work to increase their physical and moral well-being61.” The same administrator also thought that “these thousands of natives, foreigners… of all the tribes and of all origins would have quickly absorbed the Douala, if (we) did not (prevent) them from it. Sometimes, the author reveals, I have wondered whether we should not favour foreigners at the expense of the Dualas, who, in many respects, are not very interesting62.” Béti-Fang, as well as Bamileke, were always in the spotlight, and in the long run they could “absorb the native if he did not react in time.”

The dilemma faced by the administrator will later give rise to a double policy : one “pro-duala”, the other “pro-allogeneic”. Douala, divided into 04 (four) cantons or chiefdoms until 1930, included the cantons of Bell, Akwa, Deido and Bonabéri, all of which were Duala and headed by superior chiefs responsible for their own and for foreigners in the city.

It then consisted of 06 (six) : the aforementioned cantons to which the chiefdom of Cameroonian foreigners was added to the city and that of non-Cameran African foreigners. In 1944, it will have 04 (four) indigenous chiefdoms, and 05 (five) allogeneic chiefdoms, and the region, towns and surroundings, will have 10 (ten) with the native canton of Bassa, which has always been independent of the Duala. After the rise to the rank of chiefdoms of the Bamileke and Bakoko groups, New Bell became the district of the future and at the same time the black point of the city63. “The administration has the state property laws that are still in force in Cameroon64,” wrote the head of the state property office in the Wouri region. “ “has abandoned the application of Article 1 of the 1938 Decree on the State Ownership of Vacant and Ungoverned Or Unoccupied and Untapped Lands for more than 10 years – for purely political reasons. Only the application of this article would have reconciled the interests of the Dualas and foreigners – but it is impossible to return to the full application of the 1938 decree. A cantonal delineation test, which has been underway for a year65, has not yielded the expected results. The canton is an administrative division that does not necessarily correspond to a customary collectivity. The High Commissioner may, by order, define the limits of a canton, but these limits are not always those of the lands customarily held by the nationals of the canton in question. In particular, an individual may seek recognition of his land rights on a parcel within the boundaries of the neighbouring township66.”

As indigenous people, the Duala had a special place not only for African outsiders in the city, but also for “white” outsiders. They were at home and showed that they were the ones receiving the others, regardless of their status. Foreigners, on the other hand, could see the city as a place of passage, but sooner or later, most thought of settling there and occupying a position other than that of lodged. Whites if they were foreigners were almost nowhere : they had created the city and the Territory, so for them African foreigners and natives were, in a way, part of their realization. The Duala were thus included between strangers dissimilar in all respects : between non-owners enjoying a simple right of use tolerated and other non-owners dispensing all rights, those that already existed understood67.

The historical segmentation of the city of Douala68 can be seen in the name of the districts. In the spatialization of peoples, the prefixes « Log, Ndog, Bona », according to the ethno-identity grouping, refer to the village, the tribe, the clan or the family. Log refers to Bakoko populations, identifying neighbourhoods such as Logpom69 or Logbaba. The expression « Ndog » determines the Mba n'saa Wouri populations70, hence the neighborhoods like Ndogkoti, Ndogsimbi, Ndogbong.

The prefix “Bona” refers to the Duala populations in neighbourhoods such as Bonapriso, Bonanjo, Bonamoussadi. This identification is a function of sedimentations from tribal wars for the occupation of the land and the expansion of the clan. In the Sawa cosmogony, the eldest of the boys had the possibility, once adult and married, to leave the paternal home to found his own family while keeping a link with his clan of origin, hence the proximity between these different villages-neighborhoods71. In view of the colonial project of sedentarization of the natives from the hinterland, and since the migrant calls the migrant, the logics of occupation of space reveal a reading based on identity particularisms72. The greater New Bell district73 illustrates this relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people74. At the dawn of colonial penetration, it constitutes a «no man’s land » between the Sawa and the other tribes.

This district represents a true microcosm of the allochthonous populations with subdivisions such as New-Bell Mbam-Ewondo (New-Bell terroir des Ewondo)75, New-Bell Bassa (New-Bell des Bassa)76, New-Bell Bamiléké (New-Bell des Bamiléké)77, New-Bell Haoussa (New-Bell des Haoussa)78 79.

The development of identity taking into account the grouping of peoples also gives rise to neighbourhoods such as Bamenda80, the Yabassi camp81, the Bafia district82. Also, some ethnic groups categorize these spaces according to their attachment to this « new terroir » now theirs. The juxtaposition of the Nkolmintag83 and Nkololoum84 districts and the Njong mebi85 street, in the Ewondo language, are an illustration.

In colonial times, this very unsanitary street was used by the Béti people who named it86. Far from blending into the agglomerate of urbanity, the city is formed through pockets of resistance, remnants of the ethnic segmentation characterizing the populations87.

The citizen allegiance of the populations is built in the capacity of the public authorities to allow an underground way of life justifying the social construction of a counter-hegemony88. The acquiescence of the « dominated » to the values of the social order is in the acceptance by the public authority of the discursive volume and the symbolics determined by the popular logic. In this order, the Rue de la joie houses two vestiges of Douala’s socio-political history, namely the DEIDO chiefdom and the city’s 1st post office, which are in the middle of brothels, night clubs, restaurants and other take-away sales89.

The city is then « described as an operator who, without erasing the differences, dynamically articulates multiple intermediary identities under a common belonging »90. The city exists in this « capacity » of the traditional authorities to accept in an obvious way the social changes that take away their control over a good part of their subjects, namely the allochtones. However, the chiefs are consulted to give their opinion on land disputes, since they are supposed to know the land use : being « appreciated as an Aboriginal » legitimately allows to claim « historical rights » to the urban land. Moreover, at the height of the cities that died in 1991, voices were raised among the Sawa elites to ask the Bamileke industrial and commercial owners of the large buildings of Douala to restore the stolen lands and return home91.

Moreover, the order of discourse on spaces becomes a value attached to a political symbolism, determining the meaning that people give to their actions ; the name of a street or a neighborhood materializing its political anchorage. The Maképé Maturité district, still called Maképé Opponent, determines the inclination of the inhabitants of this district for contestation and induces increased surveillance by the public authorities. In the same vein, the Shell New-Bell neighbourhood explicitly refers to the Bassa populations close to the Union des populations du Cameroun (UPC)92 93. Thus, the UPC always starts its political campaign at Shell New-Bell, which is its rallying point. In the same way, the Beti populations close to the RDPC94 cannot save a meeting in the New-Bell Mbam Ewondo district or the Nyalla district.

The « Social Democratic Front », for its part, naturally holds its gatherings in Bonabéri, a predominantly English-speaking district, as well as in Benpanda An 2000 where the Bamileke populations are in favour of it. The names of districts are in fact the electoral fiefdoms of the political actors and determine the ambivalent identity of the Cameroonian political parties. Naturally, the National Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP), whose leader BELLO BOUBA MAIGARI is from the Far North, is investing in the New-Bell Hausa district. In addition, the RDPC has in Douala II (New-Bell district) an unwritten rule of political control, namely : the deputy seat for the Béti and the mayor Bamiléké. In Douala V, the major political positions95 are divided between the « Mba n'saa Wouri » and the Bamileke. Douala I remains a Douala stronghold beyond political divisions, while Douala IV- Bonabéri quarrels between anglophones, Bamileke and Duala96.

In short, the city, as a social field, a place of creation and social and cultural effervescence, sheds light on the adaptive and functional aspects of its activities, the proper springs of its growth and power97. The territory of the city of Douala has been able to absorb all its differences to constitute today a « melting pot » which opposes and combines tradition and modernity, indigenous and allochthonous, indigenous and civilized, urban and rural.

The result is a juxtaposition of all the cosmopolitan tendencies of Cameroon, which is most often manifested during electoral events.

CONCLUSION

The traditional political powers Bamoun and Duala have positioned themselves in relation to the postcolonial state which has appropriated the means and methods of German colonial administrations by involving local factors such as the community, language, religion, etc. In the case of the traditional Bamoun political power, there has been a certain weakening of family ties resulting from belonging to various political chapels within a single family. The political family thus takes precedence over the biological family. Regarding the traditional political power Duala, the land issue has led to a certain territorial fragmentation between different ethnic groups that inhabit the city of Douala and illustrated by the naming of certain places of habitation. This mixture also manifests itself during the electoral elections, when certain town halls automatically revert to communities or social groups called allogeneic to the detriment of the « first » inhabitants.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

- ABWA (D.), Cameroon : History of a Nationalism (1884-1961), Yaoundé, CLÉ Edition, 2010.
- ABWA (D.), Commissioners and High Commissioners (1916-1960), Presses universitaires de Yaoundé : Presses de l'Université catholique d'Afrique centrale, 1998.
- ADJETE KOUASSIGAN (G.), Man and the Land, Customary Land Rights and Property Rights in West Africa, Paris, O. R. S. T. M., 1966, pp. 15–25.
- AMOUGOU MBARGA (A. B.), Through the names of the streets and neighbourhoods of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, N°1, 2013, pp. 195-212.
- BAYART (J.-F.) & GESCHIERE (P.), “Problematic Politics of Autochtonia”, Critique internationale, n°10, 2001, pp. 126–128. Reprinted by CUTOLO (A.), Population, citizenships and territories. Autochtonia et gouvernementalité en Afrique”, in Politique Africaine, No. 112, December 2008, p. 5
. - BIOS NELEM (C.), “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.
- BIOS NELEM (C.), “Pouvoir et alternance politique en contexte démocratique : le cas du Cameroun,” Annales de la Faculté des Arts, Lettres et Sciences Humaines, 2011, Université de Yaoundé I, vol. 1, no. 12, p. 349.
- BLANC-PAMARD (C.) & QUINTY-BOURGEOIS (L.), Introduction, 1999, p. 11.
- COQUERY-VIDROVITCH (C.) & H. MONIOT (H.), L'Afrique noire : de 1800 à nos jours, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1984, p. 387.
- DAUS (R.), Suburban areas of freedom in extra-European cities. Major cities in Latin America : Rio de Janeiro, Africa : Douala, Asia : Bangkok, Babylon Metropolis Studies, Ursula Opitz Verlag, Berlin, 2003.
- DE ROSNY (E.), Les yeux de ma chèvre : sur le pas des maitres de la nuit en pays douala (Cameroon), Terre Humaine, 1981, 442 pages.
- ELA (J.- M.), La ville en Afrique Noire, Paris, Karthala, 1983, p. 57, 219 pages.
- EVINA AKAM & MIMCHE (H.), Unparalleled Ethnic Diversity, 2011, pp. 140–141.
- GOUAFFO (A.) & TSOGANG FOSSI (R.) : “It was… Verdun Cameroonian” : Transfer von Raumvorstellungen als Rekonstruktionstrategie des Kolonialgedachtnisses, in NYEMB (B.) & YAOWA (S.) (Hg), “Praxis interkultureller Germanistik. Aktuelle Tendenzen und Perspektiven im postkolonialen Afrika,” Hamburg : Verlag Dr. Kovack 2019, S. 131-150.
- GOUELLAIN (R.), “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey conducted with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d'Ethnologie, Musée de l'Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, p. 209.
- GOUELLAIN R., “Parenté et affinité ethnique dans l'écologie du grand quartier de New-Bell,” 254–272, in SOUTHALL, A., & FORDE, D., eds., Social change in Modern Africa, London: Oxford University Press, 1961.
- HILGERS (M.), Une ethnographie à l'échelle de la ville. Urbanité, histoire et reconnaissance à Koudougou (Burkina-Faso), Paris, Karthala, 2009, p. 9.
- KANGA (v. J-C.), La droit coutumier Bamiléké au contact des droits européens, 1959.
- LECOQ (R.) cited by KENNE (J.- M.), Production System Dynamics, pp. 38-39.
- LEFEBVRE (H.), Le manifeste différentialiste, Paris, Gallimard, Col. Idées, 1970, pp. 93–98.
- LIMA S., “The emergence of a plural toponymy in Mali”, in Political space (online), 5/2008/2. Article published on 18 December 2008 and consulted on 26 February 2013.
- MBEMBE (A.), La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (1920-1960), Paris : Karthala, 1996, p. 201.
- MICHAUD (S. G.), Identités collectives et relations interculturelles, Bruxelles, Éditions complexes, 1978.

- MIMCHE (H.) & ALAWADI (Z.), “De la religion de l’autre : effervescence religieuse et recomposition des liens socio-familial au Cameroun”, in HARRAMI (N.) & MELLITI (I.), Visions du monde et modernités religieuses (regards croisés), Paris, Editions Publisud, pp. 333-344.
- MONFON YOUCHAWOU (T.), “The Litigation of the Designation of Traditional Chiefs,” article published on April 13, 2016 at www.overblog.com and accessed on October 1, 2021.
- MULAGO (V.), Theology in Africa and related problems. Au fil des années (1956-1992), Paris : L'Harmattan, 2007. In KANGE EWANE (F.), Semence et moisson coloniales, un regard d'africain sur l'histoire de la colonisation, Yaoundé, CLÉ, 1985, p. 60.
- NGOH (v. J.), History of Cameroon Since 1800, Limbe : Presbook, 1996. See EVINA AKAM & H. MIMCHE, Unparalleled Ethnic Diversity, 2011, pp. 140–141.
- NGONGO (L.-P.), Histoire des institutions, 1987. In PRINCE KUMA NDUMBE III (A.), ed., Africa and Germany, Yaoundé, Editions AfricAvenir, 1986.
- PÉLISSIER (P.), Transition foncière en Afrique noire : du temps des terroirs au temps des finages, pp. 19-20, 1995. In BLANC-PAMARD (C.) (ed.) & CAMBREZY (L.) (ed.), Dynamique des systèmes agraires: terre, terroir, territoire: les tensions foncières, Paris, ORSTOM, pp. 19-34.
- PERROT (C. H.) & FAUVELLE AYMAR (F.- X.) (eds), Le Retour des rois, les autorités traditionnels et l'Etat en Afrique contemporaine, Paris, Karthala, 2003.
- TCHINDA KENFO (J.), Colonization, identity quests, elitist practices and socio-political dynamics in Bamboutos (West-Cameroon), XIX – XX century. Thesis for Ph.D. in History. DEA in History. Option : History of International Relations, p. 234.
- TEMGOUA (A. P.), Resistance to the German Occupation of Cameroon (1884-1916), Dissertation for the State Doctorate in Literature, Department of History, University of Yaoundé I, 2004-2005.
- VON GRAEVE (D. E.), “The Douala have shaped the history of Cameroon.” 21 April-June 2020, German version, translation by the author. Article published on 02 June 2020 (French version) at http://detlev.von.graeve.org and accessed on 16 December 2021.

[...]


1 This is as valid for the Northern Hemisphere (as for the Southern Hemisphere).

2 This question has been extensively examined in a collective work directed by S. G. MICHAUD, Identités collectives et relations interculturelles, Bruxelles, Éditions complexes, 1978.

3 H. LEFEBVRE, Le manifeste différentialiste, Paris, Gallimard, Col. Idées, 1970, pp.93–98.

4 C. BLANC-PAMARD & L. QUINTY-BOURGEOIS, Introduction, 1999, p. 11.

5 C. H. PERROT & F.- X. FAUVELLE AYMAR (eds), Le Retour des rois, les autorités traditionnels et l'Etat en Afrique contemporaine, Paris, Karthala, 2003.

6 J. TCHINDA KENFO, Colonization, identity quests, elitist practices and socio-political dynamics in Bamboutos (West-Cameroon), XIX – XX century. Thesis for the PhD in History. DEA in History. Option : History of International Relations, p. 23.

7 R. LECOQ cited by J-M. KENNE, Production System Dynamics, pp. 38-39.

8 V. MULAGO, Theology of Africa and Related Problems. Over the Years (1956-1992), Paris : L'Harmattan, 2007. In F. KANGE EWANE, Semence et moisson coloniales, un regard d'africain sur l'histoire de la colonisation, Yaoundé, CLÉ, 1985, p. 60.

9 First degree chiefdoms.

10 Second degree chiefdoms.

11 Third degree chiefdoms, sir.

12 EC 1953.

13 Read T. MONFON YOUCHAWOU, “The Litigation of the Designation of Traditional Chiefs,” article published on April 13, 2016 at www.overblog.com and accessed on October 1, 2021.

14 S. LIMA, “The emergence of a plural toponymy in Mali”, in Political space (online), 5/2008/2. Article published on 18 December 2008 and consulted on 26 February 2013.

15 J. TCHINDA KENFO, Colonization, identity quests, elitist practices and socio-political dynamics in Bamboutos (West-Cameroon), XIX – XX century. Thesis for Ph.D. in History. DEA in History. Option : History of International Relations, p. 234.

16 J.- F. BAYART & P. GESCHIERE, “Problematic Politics of Autochtonia”, Critique internationale, no. 10, 2001, pp. 126–128. Reprinted by A. CUTOLO, Population, citizenships and territories. Autochtonia et gouvernementalité en Afrique”, in Politique Africaine, No. 112, December 2008, p. 5.

17 J. TCHINDA KENFO, Colonization, identity quests, elitist practices and socio-political dynamics in Bamboutos (West-Cameroon), XIX – XX century. Thesis for Ph.D. in History. DEA in History. Option : History of International Relations. Defended November 29, 2016, p. 237.

18 C. BIOS NELEM, “Pouvoir et alternance politique en contexte démocratique : le cas du Cameroun,” Annales de la Faculté des Arts, Lettres et Sciences Humaines, 2011, University of Yaoundé I, vol. 1, no. 12, p. 349.

19 C. BIOS NELEM, “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.

20 Ditto.

21 NJOYA, Yaoundé, 16/02/2017.

22 IBRAHIM, Yaoundé, 16/02/2017.

23 C. BIOS NELEM, “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.

24 H. MIMCHE & Z. ALAWADI, “De la religion de l’autre : effervescence religieuse et recomposition des liens socio-familial au Cameroun”, in N. HARRAMI & I. MELLITI, Visions du monde et modernités religieuses (regards croisés), Paris, Editions Publisud, pp. 333-344.

25 Aziz NJOYA, Yaoundé, 16/02/2017.

26 NSANGOU, Foumban, 11/02/2017.

27 C. BIOS NELEM, “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.

28 MIMCHE, Yaoundé, 13/02/2017.

29 C. BIOS NELEM, “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.

30 IBRAHIM, Yaoundé, 13/02/2017.

31 C. BIOS NELEM, “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.

32 Aziz NJOYA, Yaoundé, 16/02/2017.

33 C. BIOS NELEM, “Traditional Power in a Pluralistic Context in Cameroon : Deconstructing Family Ties Between Bamoun “Brothers” from Political Divides,” in SociologieS, 2018.

34 G. ADJETE KOUASSIGAN, Man and the Land, Customary Land Rights and Property Rights in West Africa, Paris, O. R. S. T. M., 1966, pp. 15–25. See J. TCHINDA KENFO, Colonization, identity quests, elitist practices and socio-political dynamics in Bamboutos (West-Cameroon), XIX – XX century. Thesis for Ph.D. in History. DEA in History. Option : History of International Relations. Defended November 29, 2016, p. 250.

35 PÉLISSIER (P.), Transition foncière en Afrique noire : du temps des terroirs au temps des finages, pp. 19-20, 1995. In BLANC-PAMARD (C.) (ed.) & CAMBREZY (L.) (ed.), Dynamique des systèmes agraires : terre, terroir, territoire : les tensions foncières, Paris, ORSTOM, pp. 19-34.

36 Imperial Land Decree.

37 On this subject, L.-P. NGONGO, Histoire des institutions, 1987. In PRINCE KUMA NDUMBE III A. (ed.), Africa and Germany, 1986.

38 R. DAUS, p. 198 ff. See Suburbs-Spaces of Freedom in Non-European Cities. Major cities in Latin America : Rio de Janeiro, Africa : Douala, Asia : Bangkok, Babylon Metropolis Studies, Ursula Opitz Verlag, Berlin, 2003.

39 D. E. VON GRAEVE, “The Douala shaped the history of Cameroon.” 21 April-June 2020, German version, translation by the author. Article published on 02 June 2020 (French version) at http://detlev.von.graeve.org and accessed on 16 December 2021.

40 German edition, p. 30f.

41 E. DE ROSNY, Les yeux de ma chèvre : sur le pas des maitres de la nuit en pays douala (Cameroon), Terre Humaine, 1981, 442 pages.

42 See A. GOUAFFO & R. TSOGANG FOSSI : “It was… Cameroonian Verdun” : Transfer von Raumvorstellungen als Rekonstruktionstrategie des Kolonialgedachtnisses, in B. NYEMB & S. YAOWA (Hg), “Praxis interkultureller Germanistik. Aktuelle Tendenzen und Perspektiven im postkolonialen Afrika,” Hamburg : Verlag Dr. Kovack 2019, S. 131-150.

43 Office, p. 94.

44 D. E. VON GRAEVE, “The Douala shaped the history of Cameroon.” 21 April-June 2020, German version, translation by the author. Article published on 02 June 2020 (French version) at http://detlev.von.graeve.org and accessed on 16 December 2021, p. 90.

45 EVINA AKAM & H. MIMCHE, Unparalleled Ethnic Diversity, 2011, pp. 140–141.

46 See V. J-C. KANGA, La droit coutumier Bamiléké au contact des droits européens, 1959.

47 Herrenloses Land.

48 A. P. TEMGOUA, Resistance to the German Occupation of Cameroon (1884-1916), Thesis for the State Doctorate Es-Lettres, Department of History, University of Yaoundé I, 2004-2005.

49 SDN : League of Nations.

50 AEF : Equatorial Africa French.

51 D. ABWA, Commissioners and High Commissioners (1916-1960), Presses universitaires de Yaoundé : Presses de l'Université catholique d'Afrique centrale, 1998. See also Daniel ABWA, Cameroun : histoire d'un nationalisme (1884-1961), Yaoundé, Edition CLÉ, 2010.

52 J. TCHINDA KENFO, Colonization, identity quests, elitist practices and socio-political dynamics in Bamboutos (West-Cameroon), XIX – 20th century. Ph.D. Thesis in History. DEA in History. Option : History of International Relations, pp. 252-253.

53 EVINA AKAM & H. MIMCHE, Unparalleled Ethnic Diversity, 2011, pp. 140–141.

54 Ibid.

55 See V. J. NGOH, History of Cameroon Since 1800, Limbe : Presbook, 1996. See EVINA AKAM & H. MIMCHE, Unparalleled Ethnic Diversity, 2011, pp. 140–141.

56 Wouri Region. Annual Report, 1936. In R. Gouellain, « Douala-Ville et Histoire », Survey carried out with the assistance of the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research), Paris, Institut d'Ethnologie, Musée de l'Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, p. 209.

57 Wouri Region. Annual Report, 1938. In R. Gouellain, « Douala-Ville et Histoire », Survey carried out with the assistance of the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research), Paris, Institut d'Ethnologie, Musée de l'Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, p. 209.

58 Wouri Region. Annual Report, 1938. In R. Gouellain, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey conducted with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d’Ethnologie, Musée de l’Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, pp. 251-252.

59 Wouri Region. Annual Report, 1938. In R. Gouellain, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey conducted with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d’Ethnologie, Musée de l’Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, pp. 251-252.

60 Wouri Region. Annual Report, 1938. In R. Gouellain, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey conducted with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d’Ethnologie, Musée de l’Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, pp. 251-252.

61 Report on the Administration of the Wouri Region, 25 October 1941. In R. Gouellain, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, op. Cit., pp. 251-252.

62 R. GOUELLAIN, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey conducted with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d’Ethnologie, Musée de l’Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, pp. 251-252.

63 R. GOUELLAIN, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey carried out with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d'Ethnologie, Musée de l'Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, pp. 261-262.

64 Decree of 12 January 1938 and Decree of 21 July 1932.

65 1959.

66 Wouri region. Subdivision in Cameroon and Douala in particular, 1956. Requests for recognition of this kind were made, which called everything into question. In R. Gouellain, op. cit., pp. 311-312.

67 R. GOUELLAIN, “Douala-Ville et Histoire”, Survey carried out with the assistance of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, Institut d'Ethnologie, Musée de l'Homme, Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadéro, 16 th, 1975, p. 344.

68 Originally, the city includes the cantons Bakoko, Mba n'saa Wouri and four Douala lineages : Bell, Akwa, Deido, Belle-Bell (Bonabéri). These populations belong to the great Sawa group of the peoples of the Atlantic coast that extends from Campo in the south to Manfé in the English-speaking region.

69 « The terroir » or « The village of Pom ».

70 The Bassa of the Wouri.

71 A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, Through the names of the streets and districts of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, N°1, 2013, pp. 195-212.

72 J.-M. ELA, La ville en Afrique Noire, Paris, Karthala, 1983, p. 57, 219 pages. In AMOUGOU MARGA, op. cit, pp. 195-212.

73 New-Bell (Neu Bell) means “the new Bell” in reference to the Bell clan that the urbanization policies of the German colonizers wanted to dislodge from their lands and relocate in this space.

74 For the Sawas, New-Bell means Mbusa Mundi (backyard or backcountry).

75 The Ewondo are Bantu populations in the central region. In the framework of this work, the expressions Béti and Ewondo are synonymous although the Ewondo are part of the Fang-Béti group which extends to Gabon and present-day Equatorial Guinea.

76 The Bassa are bantu populations of central and southern Cameroon without confusion with the Mba n'saa Wouri of Sawa culture.

77 The Bamileke are semi-bantu populations of the Grassfields of West Cameroon.

78 The Hausa category here includes Peul populations, all of them Hausa from North Cameroon and mainly of Muslim faith.

79 R. Gouellain, “Kinship and Ethnic Affinity in the Ecology of the Greater New Bell District,” 254–272, in A. Southall & D. Forde, eds., Social change in Modern Africa (London : Oxford University Press, 1961). Quoted by A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, op. cit., pp. 195-212.

80 The Bamenda related to the Bamileke are Northwest Anglophones.

81 The Yabassi are distant cousins of the Doualas both by dialect and by culture. They live north of the river Wouri, in the department called Nkam.

82 The Bafia are Tikar populations in the central region.

83 « The hill of joy ».

84 « The hill of anger ».

85 “The Road to Defecation”.

86 Officially, it is today the Avenue Sultan Njoya, king and founder of the Bamoun dynasty in West Cameroon.

87 A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, Through the names of the streets and districts of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, N°1, 2013, pp. 195-212.

88 Since the beginning of 2009, Ernest MOUEN DIBOUNDJE, Chief Mba N'saa Wouri of the Kotto district, has been raising awareness of his subjects with little success in order to ensure respect for the Aboriginal and administrative street names of his command unit.

89 A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, Through the names of the streets and districts of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, N°1, 2013, pp. 195-212.

90 M. HILGERS, Une ethnographie à l'échelle de la ville. Urbanité, histoire et reconnaissance à Koudougou (Burkina-Faso), Paris, Karthala, 2009, p. 9. In A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, op. cit., pp. 195-212.

91 A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, Through the names of the streets and districts of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, N°1, 2013, pp. 195-212.

92 A. MBEMBE, La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (1920-1960), Paris : Karthala, 1996, p. 201.

93 A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, Through the names of the streets and districts of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2013, pp. 195-212.

94 The Democratic Assembly of the Cameroonian People, party in power, which was until 1985 the UNC (Cameroonian National Union).

95 Deputies, Mayor.

96 A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, Through the names of the streets and districts of the city of Douala. La quotidienneté comme univers de sens”, in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 37, N°1, 2013, pp. 195-212.

97 C. COQUERY-VIDROVITCH & H. MONIOT, L'Afrique noire : de 1800 à nos jours, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1984, p. 387. In A. B. AMOUGOU MBARGA, op. cit., pp. 195-212.

21 of 21 pages

Details

Title
Traditional Bamoun and Duala Political Powers through the Prism of Cameroon
Author
Year
2022
Pages
21
Catalog Number
V1280370
ISBN (Book)
9783346737830
Language
English
Keywords
traditional, bamoun, duala, political, powers, prism, cameroon
Quote paper
Patricia Etonde (Author), 2022, Traditional Bamoun and Duala Political Powers through the Prism of Cameroon, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1280370

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Traditional Bamoun and Duala Political Powers through the Prism of Cameroon



Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free