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Title:Accounting for personal success in Bamenda
Author:Rowlands, MichaelISNI
Year:1992
Notes:In: Maw, Joan and Picton, John (eds.). Concepts of the Body/Self in Africa. Wien: Afro-Pub
Pages:117-134
Language:English
City:Wien
Publisher:Afro-Pub
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:values
Bamenda
power
Abstract:This paper is concerned with understanding why the Bamenda in the western highlands of Cameroon do not believe that a person catches success, but that success catches a person. After a description of Bamenda notions of subjects and objects, the article concentrates on traditional notions of power and achievement in two Grassfields societies, Nso' and Laga Bum. It pays attention to the Bum term 'ifinti' and the Nso' term 'sem'. Both notions refer to the capacity to transform, for example into a strong wind or a lion. Certain categories of people are recognized to have these powers. Acquiring wealth and accreting social reputation in contemporary Bamenda is a perfectly consistent expectation of possessing 'ifinti' or 'sem'. Bibliogr.
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