Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Kom Cultural Festival.(Njong)
This is the ceremony where, traditionally, the people displayed their strength of arms, to show the Fon that they were ready to face any possible invasions in the coming year. Nowadays the threat of war has gone but the Kom people still hold tight to their traditions. So they bring their cutlasses and guns and demonstrate their power to all those gathered.
It was interesting to see the different clothing style of the few Fulani people who were present, they are a neighbouring tribe, whose stature, complexion and features are quite distinct and also whose traditions and costumes vary greatly from their Kom neighbours.
Traditional food of foufou, which is the Cameroonian staple, made of maize flour and water, katikati, which is chicken and njemajema, being green vegetables, was served and then eaten with the hands. We attracted a lot of attention, with many people taking photos of us whilst we were eating. I guess it’s only fair, as we were taking pictures of them firing guns and wearing their costumes!! And in true Cameroon style there was beer available.
The Fon has many wives and dozens of children, each of his wives has her own house within the palace. When a Fon dies his brother takes his place and also inherits all his late brother’s wives. As we were the only “visitors” present, we were shown the palace, given palm wine to drink and were greeted by almost everyone we passed, so much hand shaking! This is one of the benefits of ‘living’ in a country rather than just travelling, really getting up close to a culture and interacting with the people.