Society and Change in Bali Nyonga
197 Pages
English
Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more

Society and Change in Bali Nyonga

-

Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
197 Pages
English

Description

Contemporary Bali Nyonga is a rapidly growing town of over 80,000 in habitants, sixteen kilometres southwest of Bamenda, the capital of the North West region, Cameroon. If Cameroon has been aptly referred to in many circles as Africa in miniature, then Bali Nyonga, since its founding in the mid 19th century is emblematic of this so-called �multicultural� region. This book is about change in Bali Nyonga, but it is also about change in a typical postcolonial African setting grappling with a challenging new world reality. It aims to provide cutting-edge analyses of cultural change in Bali as well as inspire a new kind of scholarship in the Cameroon Grasslands � championed by indigenous intellectuals. The contributors to this volume come from diverse academic backgrounds and as will be evident in the various chapters, their disciplinary perspectives have largely shaped their approaches to the topics under study. Hence, this book draws on anthropological, theological, literary and media studies perspective.

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 08 February 2011
Reads 0
EAN13 9789956579310
Language English
Document size 7 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0057€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Exrait

Society and Change in Bali Nyonga
: Critical Perspectives
Edited by Jude Fokwang & Kehbuma Langmia Society and Change in Bali NyongaCritical Perspectives
Edited by Jude Fokwang & Kehbuma Langmia
Society and Change in Bali Nyonga: Critical Perspectives
Edited by Jude Fokwang & Kehbuma Langmia
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG LangaaResearch & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.com www.langaa-rpcig.net
Distributed outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com
Distributed in N. America by Michigan State University Press msupress@msu.edu www.msupress.msu.edu
ISBN: 9956-579-39-4
© Jude Fokwang & Kehbuma Langmia 2011
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Contents
Table of Figures ..........................................................................................iii Preface ...........................................................................................................v Chapter One .................................................................................................1 st Introduction: Society and Culture in Early 21 Century Bali ...........1 Jude Fokwang ......................................................................................1 Chapter Two .............................................................................................. 23 Old Wine in New Wineskin? Social Change and Traditional Reli-gion in Bali Nyonga.............................................................................. 23 Babila Fochang ................................................................................. 23 Chapter Three............................................................................................ 37 Performance Aesthetics, Structure and Language of Bali Nyonga Divination Systems............................................................................... 37 Babila Mutia & Bejemiah Mecaly .................................................. 37 Chapter Four.............................................................................................. 59 Marriage and Widowhood Rites in Bali Nyonga ............................. 59 Elias M. Nwana & Vincent L. Nwana .......................................... 59 Chapter Five............................................................................................... 83 Imagining Bali Nyonga Online: Online discussions of the Bali-Bawock Crisis on a Bali Electronic Forum....................................... 83 Lilian Ndangam Fokwang............................................................... 83 Chapter Six............................................................................................... 109 Language Use in a Multicultural Online Community ................... 109 Patience Fielding ............................................................................ 109 Chapter Seven.......................................................................................... 131 Social Criticism through Oral Discourse in Bali Nyonga ............ 131 Kehbuma Langmia ........................................................................ 131
i
Chapter Eight .......................................................................................... 147 Chieftaincy at the Crossroads: Politics, Society and Customary Reform in Bali Nyonga...................................................................... 147 Jude Fokwang ................................................................................. 147 Chapter Nine ........................................................................................... 165 Conclusion........................................................................................... 165 Kehbuma Langmia ........................................................................ 165 Bibliography.................................................................................... 169 Notes on Contributors ........................................................................... 181
ii
Table of Figures
Fig 1: Map of Cameroon showing key areas
of chamba settlement……………………………………………4
Fig 2: Town of Chamba in Northern Cameroon
on the Western slopes of Alantika moutnain……………………6
Fig 3: Map showing current settlement of Bali and
th key areas in its migratory path in the mid 19 century…………... 7
)LJ  )DFWRUV LQÁXHQFLQJ ODFN RI DGKHUHQFHV
to Bali Nyonga traditional marriage sites……………………….. 75
Fig 5: Pie chart of Mbonbani membership…………………….
Fig 6: Chart showing language predominantly
117
spoken at home during childhood………………………………. 119
Fig 7: Chart showing Mungaka skills of
120 Mbonbani members………………………………………... 120
iii
iv
Preface
The initiative for this volume began three years ago largely from infor-mal discussions among scholars of Bali descent inspired by the need to build on the legacy of previous authors who have contributed consid-erably to our knowledge of Bali Nyonga. As editors, we formulated the PDLQ LGHDV DQG VHOHFWHG WKH ÀQDO DUWLFOHV IURP RYHU D GR]HQ VXEPLWWHG abstracts. We were truly delighted by the tremendous interest showed E\ SURVSHFWLYH FRQWULEXWRUV ZKHQ WKH FDOO IRU VXEPLVVLRQ ZDV ÀUVW FLU-culated. The precursor to this was the creation of a forum for Bali scholars; balischolars@yahoogroups.com, intended to exchange ideas on decisive issues affecting the Bali homeland. According to Kehbuma Langmia, its founder and moderator, the Bali scholar e-group aimed to adduce intellectually informed opinions and analyses on topical issues DIIHFWLQJ %DOL FLWL]HQV DQG WKH JHQHUDO VFKRODUVKLS RQ WKH SHRSOHV RI Bali Chamba descent. It is therefore fair to state that the existence of this forum has served as a major impetus towards the production of critical knowledge on Bali and the Cameroon grasslands.
During the past 50 years or so, the production of knowledge on Bali Nyonga has been dominated by expatriate scholars, for which we are eternally grateful. Beginning in the late 1970s, Bali scholars began producing knowledge about their own society, contributing to detailed descriptions of customary practices on the rites of passage, mortuary rituals, coronation procedures, Chamba migration history, the politi-cal system of Bali Nyonga, amongst many other themes and topics. Many of these works brought insightful and much needed insider per-spectives, complementing those of seasoned authors who had written H[WHQVLYHO\ DERXW %DOL VRFLHW\ VXFK DV (OL]DEHWK &KLOYHU DQG 0 ' : Jeffreys. We believe that scholars are worth their salt only when they produce and impart knowledge that is relevant and accessible. It is our intention to make ourselves and knowledge both relevant and acces-sible through the publication of this volume. We are deeply indebted to many of the scholars whose dedication and deep interest in the Bali cultural universe have facilitated our own exploration of academic sources on Bali.
v
Over two decades have gone by since an edited volume was pub-lished on Bali Nyonga. Many Bali scholars are of the opinion that a follow up is long overdue. Many are also determined to explore mecha-nisms through which the production of knowledge on Bali and the Cameroon Grasslands can be sustained and continued. The attain-ment of these objectives is beyond the scope of the present publica-tion. However, it is worth stating that this volume is a worthy step in the right direction. It aims to provide cutting-edge analyses of cul-tural change in Bali as well as inspire a new kind of scholarship in the Cameroon Grasslands – championed by indigenous intellectuals. We are certainly aware that many expatriate anthropologists have made a career producing knowledge about the Cameroon Grasslands – one of the most fertile and vibrant areas to carry out “traditional” ethno-graphic studies. We also feel there is something innovative when such scholarship draws on and cross-fertilises with knowledge produced by indigenous or native scholars. We are also aware of the debates surrounding the kinds of legitimacies claimed by indigenous scholars when writing about their own societies – cognisant of the fact that sometimes, vital issues may be ignored. Admitting one’s limitations, we suppose, should be the distinguishing characteristic of every genuine intellectual.
We stated earlier that this volume aims to inspire a new kind of scholarship of the Grasslands – namely, the deep analyses of the cul-tural dynamics of contemporary Grassland society. For decades, the trend has been to document cultural practices as if they were timeless, bounded and unchanging. The desperate attempt to do what we call “salvage anthropology” – namely to document so-called traditional SUDFWLFHV EHIRUH WKH\ GLVDSSHDU XQGHU WKH JURZLQJ LQÁXHQFH RI JOR-balisation is nothing new. This trend is not only sterile but has also been rendered redundant by the false assumption that such customary practices have remained “untainted” by modernisation. It is a fact that the Grasslands of Cameroon has been at the centre of various colo-th QLDO LQÁXHQFHV VLQFH WKH ODWH century and many customary or local SUDFWLFHV DQG LQVWLWXWLRQV KDYH LQHYLWDEO\ EHHQ LQÁXHQFHG RU DOWHUHG by the intermingling of these forces. What we need is a new breed of scholars and scholarship interested in a deep analysis of the changing
vi