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Author of the Entry:
Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Eleanor A. Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, email@example.com
Maurice Tangang (Storyteller)
Age of Narrator: 52/55 (in 2017)
Social status: Traditional Councilor
Language of narration: Mbeuh, Bambui / English
Bio prepared by Divine Che Neba, University of Yaoundé 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: The Bambui chiefdom, which is believed to have existed for about 400 years, belongs to the Tikar tribe.* They are believed to have migrated from the northern regions of Cameroon. Their migration was done in waves with the Manju, Matulaah and Mallam being the first to arrive their present site. They were then joined by the people of Alaakubeh and Fingeh, who escaped from their ancestral homes in Santa and Kom respectively due to chieftaincy and land disputes. This takes the number of chiefdoms to five, each controlled by a sub-chief who is answerable to the paramount chief. They worship their ancestors whom they believe watch over them and transmit their worries to the supreme being. They practice agriculture both for subsistent and commercial purposes.
* See: all-about-cameroon.com (accessed: April 11, 2018).
In the beginning,
The Bambui people were with the other Tikaris.
As they started moving to their present site,
They had the all-powerful,
The almighty Ntsu’u
Who was their leader.
He was very powerful;
He had fought with lions and other wild animals.
The people saw him as a demi-god.
He had to lead them to their present site.
As they started moving to the present site,
There was a mysterious opening, closing and end
Of the path they were following.
Each time the path opened,
Or each time somebody discovered the path,
They informed their leader so they would start moving.
This opening, closing and end of the path
Continued for some time,
Till it finally ended.
Where the path finally closed is
The present site of the Bambui Palace.
After this settlement, the leader who was called
But before his disappearance
He told the people to wait for a sign.
He told them that they would see a sign,
And the sign came
In the form of a mysterious voice,
And indicated all the places of worship in Bambui.
This is how the Bambui people
Discovered their present settlement and
Places of worship.
Knowing what the future has in stock is the wish of humanity of all time and age groups. This myth does not only inform us of how the Bambui people found themselves where there are today but emphasizes on the nature of Ntsu’u, who promised them a sign. A similar prophecy is fulfilled in another myth in this collection, entitled “Why “Kighori”* has remained a holy ground for the people of Bambui”, where the sacred ground for worship is shown to priests and the population. Till date, the principal place of worship in Bambui is Kighori.
* Name of a ritual ground.
Ancient Prophecy: Oracle and the Gods. historyextra.com, May 27, 2010 (accessed: april 11, 2018).
Azara, Pedro et al. “The Mythical Foundation of Cities” in The Foundation of the City, Barcelona: Centre of Contemporary Culture, 2000.
Sweeney, Naoise (ed). Foundation Myths in Ancient Societies: Dialogues and Discourses, Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.
Researcher: Divine Che Neba
Assistant researcher: Njametoh Augustine
Method of data collection: Note-taking
Editors: Daniel Nkemleke/ Eleanor Dasi