Wimbum Cultural Festival 2022: traditional caps steal show

By Bakah Derick 

Traditional caps were a major attraction at the 2022 editon of the Wimbum Cultural festival: Ndəé Rlà. With various designs, the cap complemented the traditional outfit of mostly the men. While some wore their caps for fun, others did with respect to their traditional titles, positions and authority. 
"A cap is an important part of the traditional dressing of the man in the grasdfield generally. In the Mbum land, caps present the traditional position of the bearer. For example, a cap used by Ta'Nformi is different from that used by Ta'Shey Ngiri or Ta'Shey Nwerong. For those without any traditional office or authority, they wear a simple cap mostly the black round cap or the one made with thread of fibre. The cap summarily symbolises maturity in the traditional circles because the cap you wear indicates physically your level." Samba as he wanted to be identified explains to Hilltopvoices 
For the youth most those who have no traditional titles or positions, it is for the fun and love for culture. 

"I wear this cap because every young man in my village has to wear during occasions like this. I like it too but I don't wear when I am going for work or some official activities. I feel good with it." A young man tells me as he stands for pictures with his cap as the focus.

From the different dances that performed during the festival, very few men could be spotted without caps. Those who came without one from home had the opportunity to purchase from the readily available vendors.
The Fons will later decorate Jato Richard with the title of Shey Ngiri and the wearing of the cap reflecting the portfolio is an important aspect of the title conferment. He was given the cap won by people of his rank. 
To be seen without a cap as a man during events of such nature is considered disrespectful reason why many men ensure they have their caps on. 

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