Thursday, July 25, 2013

Theme "THE POWER OF CULTURE TO CREATE A BETTER FUTURE" By Tamukong Roland Angong Subject; “ Traditional Dances”, “Cry Dies”, “Shrine Visitation”, the Mystery, Symbolism & Effervescence there enshrined for Collective Communal Peace through Adorations, ritual rites & Libation Pouring to Appease Ancestors in Cameroon, the Grass field Region to be Precise

Preface Culture and Tradition owes origin to the Biblical Mission and intension of God Making Eve from the Rib of Adam dating billions of decades ago. The history of creation brought about multiplication, procreation, growth movement, the change of behavioral pattern and attitude. These various characteristic features, in the history of Man’s advent, activities and the speedy growth of the world into a Global Planetary Village in a fast growing scientific World, plagued by natural and supernatural factors, has given each group of people, persons, a Village, a Division, a Region, Country and Continent something which is peculiar and particular about her, which distinguishes one from another, This is influenced by the immediate environment of the people, history and Religion. These aspects clearly define culture to be the way of life and operation of a particular people “Cultina”. Tradition are some enshrined values in a people that governs the routine lives in a particular setting (I am talking here of Traditional rites, dressing and certain act demonstrated or exhibited). Talking about how culture and Tradition of a people can influence Global and collective peace for a better future is an issue very paramount. With special attention, looking relatively and collectively into the ways of life stationed and fashioned by a people and a class of individuals which is very vast. Pushes us to narrow down this broad base subject to a specific case Study, that is the North West Region of Cameroon known as the grass fields harboring the Tikar ethnics group who has as major activities Farming, livestock breeding, death celebrations, “cry dies” and gun firing, Divination, incantations and the pouring of libations, rituals and sacrificial offerings to adorn the gods, adoration of shrines, sacred forest and the glorification of their Fons etc. It should be noted that these acts, activities and exercises are practiced and performed to enable the individual, the family or the community have a “quiet sleep” as it is always referred, which means exercises that vindicates one of maledictions and ill luck or showers one with abundant blessings, a village with great harvest or protection from the trespass of any evil force we are talking here most especially of the mysteries that surround cultural festivals, annual Traditional dances, the pouring of libations and ritual killings. In the North West Region it is a common established fact that children are born and grow to inherit predicaments, maledictions and curse or suffer from evil spells from parents and great grand parent’s acts belonging to a particular secret society or for not performing regularly some routine traditional rites in the assembly of notables or elders, for receiving an unlawful payments, defiling the gods or not adorning them etc. As such life span is not guaranteed in the hands of the “unknown circumstances”. One can only be freed of or vindicated off if and only if he or she performs or fulfill their traditional commitments and obligations in the village with the ancestors and the gods of the land. Life span then is guarantee and long life assured through meeting up with the needs of Cultural and traditional exigencies enhancing individual and communal peace for a collective life that assures and sustains global peace for a prosperous future. The tree of traditional, cultural collectivity and global peace in Africa as a whole and Cameroon in particular, holds that a man’s culture is his roots and his tradition is his identity. Meaning here that once a man’s roots are not deeply rooted in tradition, through routine ritual rite honoring, poring of libation, adorning of the gods and offering sacrifices, he has no base and will be of no worth to the society in terms of enhancing and sustaining collective actions oriented towards harnessing and promoting peace for a joyous end. Peace normally should start from individual actions, to family interaction, village communion, solidarity, social cohesion, understanding, unity and love. Culture and tradition once tampered with can cost society a lot. An aspect of it is “Annual Traditional Dances”, rituals and adoration of gods, in Awing for instance, a village in the North West Region of Cameroon, simply because the people ignored routine rites to appease the gods of Lake Awing, a gaseous disaster occurred that claimed a good number of lives approximately 1500. Today with, routine traditional ritual exercises, for the gods of that Lake, there are no more hazards and the village is living in absolute peace. In Big Babangki Kedjim Keku where the Fon was roasted alive by the people for defiling and out rightly abusing culture and tradition, a sacred ritual dance was conducted which assembled all sons and daughters of this village with the new Fon on the throne to cleanse, appease and bless her subjects off the “bad air” that surrounded the village atmosphere and maledictions following her subjects where ever they go after that murderous act for the collective welfare of the village. In Bafut village, the “Abenefor” just like in Babungo Village, Bambalang, Nso where you have the Ngonso Festival and Bambui where you have the “Mandele” Sacred dance, all are annually performed routine act or dances that follow a particular secret chronograph reflecting their respective cultures and collective ways of pacifying and adoring their gods. Once these exercises are conducted blessings over flow the community, her subjects receive salvations from the hands of their ancestors absolutely, hence a comfortable atmosphere for social welfare is enhanced and that black Pa in the village sleeps and gets up well. Most of these sacred dances came about in the early days introduced by founders of those Fondoms and Kingdoms who had to fight, conquer and defend ones ethnic or clan from evasion or aggression. As such the dances were like a thanks giving mass offered to the “fallen” in the exercise for keeping them alive and enabling them go through the hurdles of such an encounter. The exercise witnesses the roasting of fowls, the slaughtering of goats, cows and ships. End

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