Zintgraff
94 Pages
English
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Zintgraff's Explorations in Bamenda, Adamawa and the Benue Lands 1889-1892

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94 Pages
English

Description

The following pages, initially prepared for limited circulation in 1961, contain brief extracts and summaries of those parts of Eugen Zintgraff�s book NORD-KAMERUN (1895), of most interest concerning the colonial Bamenda and Wum Division. Zintgraff�s book, the first by a European about the Grassfields, has not been translated and is hard to get second-hand. In using these notes the following points should be borne in mind: Zintgraff�s knowledge of Bali (Mungaka) and Hausa was very slight, and his discussions of character, motives and political institutions are consequently superficial and open to criticisms. He had no means of checking what he was told, or thought he was told. He had no previous knowledge of any similar culture and no training in ethnographical method. He was, however, a good observer, and his descriptions of tools, dress, weapons and the like, can be regarded as fairly reliable. Finally, it must be remembered that Zintgraff wrote the book to justify his own actions and to support that small but influential section of public opinion in Germany which favoured rapid imperial expansion. A full account of the actions and motives of Zintgraff�s opponents in the Kamerun Government and in the Colonial Bureau of the German Foreign Office has not been written: we only have one side of the story. But there are some suggestive points made in Rudin�s GERMANS IN THE CAMEROONS and others referred to in these notes. What is perhaps most striking about Zintgraff�s account is the fact that the people of the Western Grassfields were not so isolated from one another or their neighbours as might be thought. A network of trade-friendships covered the country and big men exchanged gifts over long distances. These links must be set beside the inse�curity due to raids and slave-catching, and are well worth investigation.

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Published 30 August 2010
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EAN13 9789956578252
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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Exrait

The following pages, initially prepared for limited circulation
in 1961, contain brief extracts and summaries of those parts
of Eugen Zintgraff’s book Nord-Kamerun (1895), of most
interest concerning the colonial Bamenda and Wum Division.
Zintgraff’s book, the fi rst by a European about the Grassfi elds,
has not been translated and is hard to get second-hand.
In using these notes the following points should be borne in
mind: Zintgraff’s knowledge of Bali (Mungaka) and Hausa
was very slight, and his discussions of character, motives and
political institutions are consequently superfi cial and open to
criticisms. He had no means of checking what he was told, or
thought he was told. He had no previous knowledge of any
similar culture and no training in ethnographical method. He
was, however, a good observer, and his descriptions of tools,
dress, weapons and the like, can be regarded as fairly reliable.
Finally, it must be remembered that Zintgraff wrote the book to
justify his own actions and to support that small but infl uential
section of public opinion in Germany which favoured rapid
imperial expansion. A full account of the actions and motives
of Zintgraff’s opponents in the Kamerun Government and in
the Colonial Bureau of the German Foreign Offi ce has not been
written: we only have one side of the story. But there are some Zintgraff’s Explorations in suggestive points made in Rudin’s Germans in the Cameroons
and others referred to in these notes. What is perhaps most
Bamenda, Adamawa and striking about Zintgraff’s account is the fact that the people of
the Western Grassfi elds were not so isolated from one another the Benue Lands 1889-1892or their neighbours as might be thought. A network of
tradefriendships covered the country and big men exchanged E. M. Chilver
gifts over long distances. These links must be set beside the
insecurity due to raids and slave-catching, and are well worth
investigation.
E.M. Chilver was one of the fi rst historians and ethnographers
of the Western Grassfi elds of Cameroon. Her work remains an
invaluable guide to the region.
Langaa Research and Publishing
Common Initiative Group
PO Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda
North West Region
CameroonZintgraff’s Explorations
in Bamenda, Adamawa and the Benue Lands
1889—1892Dr Eugen Zintgraff and his dogZintgraff ’s Explorations
in Bamenda, Adamawa and
the Benue Lands
1889—1892
E. M. Chilver
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG
Mankon,Bamenda