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Mankon: Defining Our Identity and Shaping Our Future

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1 Mankon: Defining Our Identity and Shaping Our Future

2 Geographical Location and Population
Mankon is a prominent, first-class kingdom strategically located at the heart of Bamenda, in Mezam Division, NW region of Cameroon. It has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants. The Fondom is bounded in the North by Bafut, East by Bamendankwe and Nkwen, West by Ngymbu, Meta and Bali; and in the South by Mbatu and Nsongwa Fondoms.

3 Seasons Mankon has two seasons; The dry season that runs from mid-October to mid-March and the rainy season which covers the rest of the year.

4 What Is “Culture”? Webster Dictionary defines it as “The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” The anthropologic definition is “The sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another”.

5 Culture Mankon has been rightfully described as the microcosm of grass field culture. The Mankon Palace is indeed the epicenter of all expressions of the art and culture of the people. It has gained fame through the hosting of grandiose cultural events as well as fascinating traditional performances and festivals like the famous Abeun’afo now transformed to the all-embracing biennial Mankon Grand Cultural Festival (MBOUMALA) and the Mankon Museum.

6 Culture Language Food Clothing Etiquette Education Economy
Social Organization Religion Days of the Week & Holidays Important Traditional Ceremonies Dance

7 Language Mankon is the language of the Mankon People and spoken by them. Because Mankon is located in the English speaking region of Cameroon, English is the main official language of communication and Pidgin English is the lingua franca and is widely spoken alongside the Mankon Language.

8 Food The Mankon people are basically self-sufficient in food and drinks. Our meals consist of cooked cereal or root staple, accompanied by sauce or stew. Achu- Mankon traditional meal. Porridge Plantains and cocoyams Corn Fufu and Vegetable (Njama Jama) Cornchaff (Corn & Beans) Rice Garri Water Fufu & Eru

9 Clothing Touge is the formal and traditional regalia of Mankon. It is sown and worn differently based on one’s status in the community. There are other forms of dressing, based on the occasion.

10 Etiquette Verbal greetings & handshakes are important parts of daily etiquette, epitomizing hospitality and trust. Much respect is also accorded to elders, clan & lineage heads & notables. The King does not shake hands. In his presence, one remains standing until spoken to. You do not initiate a conversation until the King does so; The proper way of addressing the Fon is to slightly bow down and speak through cupped hands;

11 Etiquette Cont. Drinks from the Fon are received kneeling down with cupped hands. The Fon is responded to as “Mbe”. The Queen Mother is responded to as “Moo”. Fathers & mothers are addressed as “Tata” & “Nimo”. Younger persons address their elders as “Ndia” and under no circumstance can a minor raise his or her voice to an elder, or reproach one. A younger person must give up their seat to a standing elder. Gifts must be accepted with both hands. The use of the left hand is a sign of disrespect.

12 Education Prior to the ascendancy of His Royal Highness, Fon Angwafo III of Mankon to the throne, previous Fons and the Mankon people solely educated males. With his ascendency, the Fon discouraged that culture and passed an executive order, advocating for the education of both boys and girls.

13 Education cont. Today, Mankon is the epicenter of education in Cameroon, with numerous schools attended by both boys and girls.

14 Economy The main economic activity of the indigenous population is agriculture. Today, Mankon is the economic capital of the Northwest region. Mankon Commercial Avenue and its environs is the host to regional head offices of large companies and is an area of intense economic activity in the country. The Mankon Main Market and Azire Food Market are the largest markets in the region.

15 Economy cont. Handicrafts using local material is widely practiced. Statues, masks, baskets, musical instruments etc. are produced and marketed.

16 Social Organization Fo (King)- The Fon and the Kwifo are at the head of the Mankon Social organization. The Fon is the secular and spiritual leader of the Mankon people.

17 Social organization cont.
Kwifo- The Kwifo is the supreme state regulatory society / council. The Kwifo and the Fon work together toward consensus in decision making. It is primarily concerned with law enforcement.

18 Social organization cont.
Mafo- A Mafo is the Fon’s mother or one of his sister’s if his mother is deceased. A Mafo can also be inducted and coroneted by the Fon. She is the Fon’s counselor and watches over the Palace in his absence.

19 Religion In Mankon, there is freedom of worship. Many individuals combine beliefs and practices of Christian religion with traditional religion. Traditional religion involves the veneration of ancestors and the belief that people, animals and natural objects are invested with spiritual powers. Traditional religion still has an important role in the protection of the people’s activities, environment, and themselves.

20 Religion Cont. Holy places or shrines often include forests, streams, trees, graves, stones, burial places of ancestors and sacred houses in compounds of clan and lineage heads. Sacred sites as well as the ritualistic objects that accompany ceremonies and celebrations are highly respected. Most of these sacred sites are usually enclosed and access is generally forbidden to the public. The Alaankie Heritage Site is the old palatial capital of Mankon, with tombs & shrines of 7 Fo’s (Kings) and the Palatial rest house.

21 Religion Cont. The Palace is where the Fon resides. Its hosts a unique and venerated age-old traditional architecture, Atsum, a large sacred palace temple. The practice of divination and soothsaying is also abound in Mankon.

22 Days of The Week Mbi’na- Beginning of the week.
Zinkane-Day of Reverence (Njuiala) Mamutan-Alabukam Market Day Zidzong- Bafut Market Day Zacob- Mankon Community Development Day Mbig’ndom- Meta Market Day Zinkon- Bali Market Day Samne- Fon’s Market Day (Mutan’nfo)

23 Holidays Three notable holidays in Mankon are:
Zinkane- Day of Reverence. Samne- The Fon’s Market Day. Ngangfo Week- Before the planting season, for a week, Ngangfo, a secret society from the Palace, goes out and blesses the entire Mankon and its boundaries. The objective is to encourage fertility, growth and to ward off enemies. Farming is not permitted during that entire week. Zacob- Ngangfo leaves the palace for blessing. Mbi’na – Nganfo returns to the palace. Zinkane- Palace Celebration. Mamutan- Farming and activities resume.

24 Important Traditional Ceremonies
Child Birth- The birth of a child is an important event. Members of the two families meet, eat and drink together. To have many children is a sign of power & happiness. Marriage- There are three types of marriage: Consensual marriage (Ngoo Manyie)- is celebrate after the dowry of the future bride has been paid by the suitor. The bride is then taken to her fiancé’s house at night, accompanied by a group of family members holding bamboo torches (flashlights). Elopement (Usa’ Mangyie)- is celebrated solely by the bride and groom. A man meets a girl and they negotiate and come to an agreement. She then flees the family home to take refuge at her fiancé's house where the wedding is celebrated. The dowry is paid when the couple lives together. Nghen- a combination of Ngoo Mangyie and Usa’Mangyie. A suitor pays his wife bride price and sneaks her to his home without waiting for his wife’s relatives to escort her to his house.

25 Important Traditional Ceremonies Cont.
Burials- In Mankon, traditional burials are still commonplace. When a notable dies, the first day of the mourning is presided over by the Kwifo. The successor is taken to the palace to receive the Fon’s blessing. The family elders also bless the successor by allowing him to drink from their ritual horns and to sit on his father’s stool.

26 Dance Singing and dancing are an integral part of most traditional ceremonies and celebrations. It uses locally made instruments such as guitars, drums, xylophones, whistles, flutes etc. to produce wonderful melodies.

27 Dance Cont. Dance costumes are very colorful and vibrant, reflecting the richness of the culture. Dancers move with precision and their bodies gyrate left, right, and center. It evokes a sense of freedom, unity and love amongst the people.

28 Dance cont. Mankon has several types of dances, including but not limited to: The Fon’s Dance (Abeun’afo) Mbag’lum Mukomu Nzang: Juju Dance Akongne Makonge Ala’a Nidoroe Bottle Dance

29 Future And Way Forward Melting Pot: America is a melting pot of ethnic groups. The cultures in that pot are distinct and unique to each group, eg; Jewish Americans Hispanic Americans Italian-Americans etc. Learn, teach, encourage & foster our culture. Establish a legacy in Mankon, individually and collectively.

30 Long Live MACUDA America. Long Live MACUDA Cameroon
Long Live MACUDA America! Long Live MACUDA Cameroon! Long Live the Fon of Mankon! Long Live Mankon!

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