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Author of the Entry:
Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleanor A. Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Tamukong (Storyteller)
Age of Narrator: 60 (in 2018)
Social status: Quarter head
Language of narration: Aakwuem
Bio prepared by Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Background: The Akum people, formerly known as the Ba’angu migrated from Widikum through Tadkonto their present site. The village is made up of four quarters; each controlled by a quarter head who is answerable to the paramount Fon. The Akum people engage in farming as the major economic activity. The Akum society is politically partitioned into 3 main institutions viz: the Kwifor, which is the highest body made up of kingmakers, the Takabengs, an exclusively female cult and then age groups. Each of these institutions has a role to play in the smooth functioning of the society.
Akum is also known throughout the Northwest Region as “Small London.” This appellation dates back to the colonial days when white people picked cooks and domestics from Akum because of their sincerity and diligence. The later in turn copied the mannerisms of the colonialists and considered themselves second to them. This made them proud and industrious.
Once upon a time,
The Akum people were living together with Mijini in Widikum.
Mijini was the greatest deity and the sole protector of the Akum people.
This did not, however, prevent friction with other groups in Widikum.
The prevailing tension forced them to leave Widikum.
But on leaving,
They left behind their major deity.
As they were approaching this land,
Mijini suddenly joined them.
The people started offering sacrifices to Mijini.
(Narrator turns round to see whether everybody is attentive).
You know that in the ancient days, there were many wars.
Many people were struggling to settle.
So, the Akum people faced some of these setbacks.
They were not many but Mijini was with them.
Their enemy was the Bali people.
You know the Bali people are very wicked and warlike.
They attacked the Akum people to seize their land.
When they were already in the heart of the land,
The chief priest of Mijini raised his head
HE RAISED AN ALARM
WITH SACRIFICES TO Mijini.
Mijini listened to the people.
An uncontrollable and violent wind came.
Only the Bali warriors were destroyed,
They were destroyed to dust.
No physical fight took place.
The wind selectedall the Bali soldiers,
Killed them and turned them into dust.
Since then, Bali people are afraid of Akum people.
(The narrator opened his eyes).
THEY ARE AFRAID OF US.
THEY CANNOT TRY AGAIN.
Yearly sacrifices are offered to Mijini
For protection, prosperity and many things.
This is the end of my story.
This myth explains the origin of the Akum people – why and how they migrated from their original homeland and settled where they are today. It also justifies their worship of their supreme deity, the Mijini. This has the potential of inspiring awe and reverence for this deity and uniting the Akum people around a common belief system. Moreover, the myth underscores the faithfulness of this deity in times of adversity hence reinforcing the people’s belief in their cosmology.
Lurker, Manfred. The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, London: Routledge, 1948.
Method of data collection: Tape - recording and note-taking
Researcher: Divine CheNeba
Editors: Daniel Nkemleke/Eleanor A. Dasi