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Crossover (young adults + adults)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Eleanor Anneh Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julius Mboh Angwah, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Soliey Mbezenyuy (Storyteller)
Age of narrator: 70 (in 2018)
Social status: Notable of the Nso Clan
Language of narration: Lamnso
Bio prepared by Eleanor Anneh Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com and Julius Mboh Angwah, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background*: The people of Nso, Kumbo Subdivision, Bui Division, are the largest ethnic group of the Northwest Region of Cameroon. Their population is estimated at 217,000 people on a surface area of 2,300 km2. They speak Lamnso, and have a filial lineage to the Bamoun people of the West Region. The local population survives on subsistence farming. A majority of them have embraced Christianity and Islam, but still practice traditional African religion alongside. In Nso cosmology, there is the general belief in the powers of the earth (which include the ancestors’), which powers, have a direct influence on the living. They organize annual cultural festivals during which the king and notables visit the shrines of the Gods of the land, amidst a display of their most feared and revered masquerades.
* Source: tumeourheritage.wordpress.com (accessed: January 3, 2019).
Kilankenyuy in Lamnso literarily means “the stone of God.” It is also the name that the Nso people give to the God who gives children.
Many years ago, the benevolence of the gods in giving humans wonderful, resourceful and creative children was already known by humans. So they were expected to regularly offer sacrifices to Kilankenyuy, the stone of God, for different reasons, especially for the gift of creative and successful children. The early fathers were quite conscious of this verity and so had great children who didn’t only defend their fathers’ names but also made names for themselves.
However, there came a generation of humans who neglected the sacrifices to Kilankenyuy because they believed that children, irrespective of who they were and what they grew up to become, came from the same ancestral goodness and perfection. Kilankenyuy felt abandoned and so became very angry. As a result of his anger, he stopped giving out good children. This led to an increase in the birth of naughty children, who grew up to become thieves, prostitutes, drunks, rapists, monsters and so on. The consequence of such negative acts in the community was banishment. Consequently so many young men and women were banished from the community. The banished young men and women went on to head new communities, and began reproducing children who were exactly like them. This explains why some communities in Banso and other clans today are considered to have more bad women and arrogant men than others.
The king and his council of elders were so disturbed about the regular banishment of their young men and women. So they decided to offer sacrifices to appease Kilankenyuy, so that he could again begin giving them children who were good and responsible. After consulting the gods, it was revealed that Kilankenyuy had been abandoned for too long, and needed to be appeased. Kilankenyuy lived in a small shiny stone that looked like it could be carried by even a five-year-old, but not even the most powerful machine on earth could lift it off the ground. This was so because there were so many generations of good children in the stone, waiting for the generation of clansmen who would be humble enough to acknowledge Kilankenyuy as the source of good children. Some people even testified that they had been hearing the cry of babies around the dwelling of Kilankenyuy, but had almost always misunderstood it to be the cry of cats or bush babies, which were also quite common in the community.
In order to appease Kilankenyuy, palm wine was poured on the shiny stone, where he lived, persistently for two weeks. At the end of this sacrifice, the chief priest of Kilankenyuy announced that good babies would start coming, and that whenever a lady was pregnant, the husband or family head should offer some palm wine to Kilankenyuy and the pregnant woman would give birth to a good and prosperous baby. Since then, every family became conscious of the unavoidable sacrifice before or during pregnancy and this culture has persisted until today. Thus generations and generations of couples continue to offer palm wine to Kilankenyuy when they are expecting a baby.
Researcher: Eleanor Anneh Dasi
Assistant Researcher: Julius Angwah
Method of data collection: Tape recording
Translator: Jude Berinyuy Tangwa
Editors: Daniel Nkemleke/Divine Che Neba