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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Installation Rites in Kom Royal Court Compounds
Author:Shanklin, Eugenia
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:Kom polity
kingship rituals
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Among the matrilineal Kom of Cameroon there are three kinds of installation rites. The focus of this paper is on one of these, namely the elevation of a person to the status of head of a royal court compound. The author discusses three royal court compounds, those of Fuli, Sho and Aboh, and the rites by which an individual becomes head of each. Sho and Aboh are respectively the compounds of the Fon's titular mother and father, while Fuli is the penultimate residence of an heir-apparent prior to becoming Fon at Laikom. The description is phrased in the terms of A. van Gennep ('The rites of passage', London, 1960), according to which a rite of passage can be divided into three major parts: 1) separation, when the initiate is separated from the midst of ordinary people and life; 2) transition, where the initiate is between statuses; and 3) incorporation, when the initiate is reincorporated into the society in the new position. The author concludes each descriptive section by discussing the Kom ceremony each particular rite most resembles, and concludes the paper by mentioning commonalities between all three ceremonies. Bibliogr., notes, ref.