It is 1949-50.
Rebecca Hourwich Reyher is researching to write a book titled: The Fon and His Hundred Wives. Here she is interviewed by Amelia R. Fry.
Fry: Who was the Fon?
Reyher: He was an African hereditary chief of a section of the Cameroons.
Fry: Can you mention any of the problems of his wives and similarities between these and the problems of women in the United States? Anything different from what you had already observed in Zululand?
Reyher: What always strikes as as most absurd about the argument that African women are accustomed to polygamy, and therefore accept it, is that it is accepted that men in Africa murder out of jealousy, yet their wives and daughters are supposed to be free of it.
In both Zululand and in Bikom--or Laakom, they are used interchangeably--in the Cameroons, the wives ganged up on each other, formed cliques, and frequently resented their living conditions.
When Jua (PM of West Cameroon) made it known in 1967 that Kwifoyn fell "under traditional competence and therefore, did not constitute a body capable of enacting laws for the Kom people, (ref. Saghaah Kom, 4(1967) 2 he wanted to bring home the idea that kwifoyn was a traditional institution worthy of due respect BUT that it could not function as it did in the pre-colonial period, as an executive and legislative institution.
Kom/Bum Area council had replaced it.
In Kom, Kwifoyn still thought it had the power to limit people's freedom, ban them and maintain law and order as the POLICE.
It is true that Kwifoyn was largely composed of non-literate retainers who were unaware of the erosion of their power.
Culled from PAMELA MCCLUSKY WITH ROBERT FARRIS THOMPSON's
Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back
The chapter on the Kom of Cameroon Grasslands opens a different but equally striking window onto African art and culture today and in the past. Drawing from the art collection, research, and photographs of the missionary Paul Gebauer, who donated part of his Cameroon corpus to the Seattle Art Museum (and the other part to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), McCluskey here introduces us to the various owners of art, among these the famed king and artist Fon Yu (b. 1830), who stood up to the Germans in the early era of missionary penetration here.
By the Boyo Mountain - The Story of Prince Sama Ndi
By the Boyo Mountain,
Where the python trail disappeared
And there we settled.
A prosperous and warrior race
We repelled the Germans with such ferocity
In six months
They sued for peace.
From Kom has come
Legend upon legend
Akoni, the merciless slave dealer,
Sama Ndi, the most intelligent Prince in West Africa
Augustine Ngom Jua, he made cold sweat run down Ahidjo's spine.
Catechist Timneng, he gave Foyn Ngam tough times, and instituted Catholicism in Kom.
But where are they today?
There was a time, recently when I sent you a loaf of fufu corn through “Mukube”, David Chiatoh, Lord Mayor of Njinikom Rural Council. The mouths of some people watered, although I forbade this, and they wished they were back at home in Kom to partake of that nice cake.
However, the occasion was the bringing up from the dust of Bobe Stephen Tosah, alias Ago Try of Njinikom, into ‘manhood’, the acquisition of his traditional land title, and all the rights that go with becoming more than a “Kom anchi” - (a Kom simpleton). Before then, Ankiambom had sought for an answer from this forum as to how to “count uyuo” He had asked us, how do the Kom people “count uyuo”?
“tang uyuo” He was not the first. We had had the same question asked several times before, and I remember that Nawain Vivian Toh even told us how women do theirs. All of our answers at that time remained kind of incomplete or did not properly fulfill the wishes of those who were begging for answers to the questions posed.
I may be mistaken seriously if that was done, and should that be the case, just bear with my shortcomings.
I decided to go a little deeper into this aspect of Kom life and this is what I found, again, with the load of literature we post these days, I will try to be as brief as I can and sure that some of us will come in to fill the blank spaces. Should there be any questions, I may know the answers to some and trust that some will be answered by others in the forum.
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