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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Becoming foyn' among the Kom of the Cameroon Western Grassfield
Author:Nkwi, Paul NchojiISNI
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:Kom polity
kingship rituals
Abstract:Kom is one of the largest chiefdoms in the mountainous district of the Northwest Province of Cameroon. Becoming king ('foyn') in Kom means becoming spiritually transformed and assuming both the religious and political responsibilities of a people. The purpose of this paper is to present a descriptive and analytic interpretation of the installation rites that confer sacred powers and character on the 'bo-fuli', the next oldest in chronological age among the ruler's uterine kin. On the death of the ruler 'bo-fuli' goes through the three stages of the rite of passage: separation, transition or threshold, and incorporation. The description of these rites is followed by a discussion of the general significance and implications of the various ritual performances, placed within a theoretical framework which takes into account the different levels of perception of the indigenous informant and the trained observer. Attention is also paid to the historical and ontological contexts of the rites. Bibliogr., notes, ref.