Publié le 10/01/2023
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Culture is defined as the essential thing or element to know about people if one would
truly like to understand and make prediction about their behavior.
Generally, conflicts arise from the fact that, due to the diversity of the people, they become ambiguous to understand; in their inter-personal relations, coming from various horizons, each and every one holds his origins at heart, and is most at times not opened enough to embrace the newness introduced by the other.
As African, the richness of our culture is found in rituals, ceremonies and festivals, in shrines, sacred places and religious object; in music and dance; in proverbs, riddles and wise sayings; in names of people and places; in beliefs and customs; in myths and legends: “African Religion is found in all aspects of life”.
1 Thus treating of the Beti, it is paramount to say that they are classified among the Bantu people inhabiting Cameroon.
They are a people of Central Africa present primordially in Cameroon, then, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Central African Republic; constituted of the Eton, the Kolo or Ewondo, the Bain, the Manguissa, the Etenga and the Mvele, they are all generally called the Fang while the Fung is also a particular dialect for the Fang people residing in the South of Cameroon and boundaries of Equatorial Guinea.
Their language is the Beti, sub-classified as Bulu, Eton, Ewondo and Fang languages.
Our orientation as per the discussion of this group of people is centered on a metaphysical, epistemological and ethical appraisal of the Nkul i.e.
their traditional musical instrument. 1 J.
MBITI, Introduction to African Traditional Religion, Heinemann, 1975, 19. 1 1.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE BETIS PEOPLE The name Beti derives from nti of which it constitutes the plural, nti meaning lord. The Betis are therefore a society of lords.
But the term nti has another meaning: it also means “nonchalant in the sense of one who obeys with majestic heaviness.” The Beti community is one of the largest ethnic groups in Cameroon.
Settled in the central, southern and part of the eastern regions of Cameroon and neighbour countries (Gabon and Equatorial Guinee).
They basically have a common history; that of the crossing of the Sanaga river that we will present later.
When we speak of the Beti, we cannot forget to mention the name of the one who is at
the origin of this community: Nanga.
This is the reason why we talk about "Beti Be Nanga", their common ancestor who was an albino.
He had seven children among whom: Kolo Beti, Eton Beti, Mvele Beti, Mvan Beti, Meka Beti (the Maka), Bulu the daughter, and Ntumu, the last born.
They are descendants of Bantu origin.2 The origin of the Betis is difficult to define, but no one can say more than themselves who they are.
The most commonly accepted thesis is the origin given by oral tradition.
Today, the main Betis tribes are the Eton, the Ewondos, the Benes who are direct brothers.
Originally all Betis spoke a language called Ati.
Arrived in Yaoundé, they dispersed, some Eton found themselves in Nkometou (a region of Yaoundé).
Their migrations were aimed at finding rich lands for agriculture, and getting closer to regions where there was salt, which had become much more available with colonization.
It is with this in mind that the Etons went in particular to Douala and there they encountered the Bassas who lived on this side of the country.
The Beti are traditionally sedentary, farmers, and blacksmiths.3 2.
BETI TAM-TAM: NKUL 2 3 https://web.facebook.com/DreamtourCamer/posts/1085087458538659/ Ibid. 2 2.1.
DESCRIPTION AND SIGNIFICANT The Nkul is the main means of telecommunication among the Beti.
It is a monoxyle slit drum which gives two tones.
It is made from two very large trees in the forest called the ebe commonly known as mukumari and mbel (padouk).
It often takes the name of esil (the questioner) when it is cut for this purpose.
This wood with vermilion sap, is considered to be a great bearer of life; this is why the skul is regarded as a reclining man who speaks through his mouth.
A slit separates the two lips respecting a median bridge which then gives two regulating tabs.
In making the Nkul, the craftsman must patiently pop out the sides inside the Nkul using the wood chisel and a very heavy mallet, then pop out the two lips, polish the whole, thin the middle bridge and separate it in two strips with a blow of red-hot machetes. This complicated work is doubled by rites intended to make the Nkul “speak well”.
Its extremities are whitened with Kaolin, one of the sides is carried away so that its voice carries.... »
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