North West Cameroon: Remarkable Cultures I- The Nso People

They own, and with pride, use Lamnso (language of Nso) anywhere they are found. They are from the grassfields of Cameroon, with capital being Kimbo (or today known as Kumbo), the Nso People have a rare structured traditional administrative setup, with the Fon at the summit; then there are the  Vibai, aShufai, aYaa, aFai, aShey, etc. 

 The very religious people give uncommon value to their traditional beliefs, yet are so attached to Christianity and Islam, the two main religions apart from the traditional practices. Even the most learned of them all would always go back home to identify with their roots, either to pay allegiance to the throne of the tribe, occupied by an "immortal" being, called the Fon; according to the cultural belief, the never dies. 


Many would also return home just to be and identify with the people during cultural events. Ngam-Ngonnso’ is the melting pot of Nso culture and traditions. It is a week during which the peoole communinion with their ancestors, through sacrifices performed by the Fon, the display of masquerades, and other cultural events. 


The staple food of the Nso people is corn fufu, eaten with huckleberry, prepared often with very little palm oil and salt. They are known for the cultivation of good irish potatoes, highly sort after in Cameroon. The Kirang, Mfuh, Saamba, Chong, Toh,  Kikum,  Njang, Long, are some of the cultural dances. 



The Yeeh Ngwerong, Yeeh  Ngiri, Wanmabuh, Kibarankoh, Shinkang, are some of the masqurades that emerge from the two main cultural divisional sectors of the palace. Visiting Nso is one thing one would need to do during one’s lifetime.


Shuiy Nso.. The Fon of Nso



By Bakah Derick

Photos by PENJO Baba on kinnakas blog

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