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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Slavery and Slave Marketing in Nso' in the Nineteenth Century
Author:Chem-Langhee, Bongfen
Year:1995
Periodical:Paideuma
Volume:41
Pages:170-190
Language:English
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:social inequality
social structure
Bamenda
slavery
slave trade
Nso polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Education and Oral Traditions
Labor and Employment
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:This paper examines slavery in the kingdom of Nso' (Bui Division of the North West Province of Cameroon) in the 19th century. It shows how Nso' social structure, the Nso' system of measuring wealth and prestige, the Nso' concept of man and the value the Nso' attached to man as a human being influenced the position and treatment of slaves in Nso' in the 19th century. The Nso' concept of slavery differed greatly from that of the West, which sees slavery as a form of social stratification, as the antithesis of freedom and as a means of economic, social and political deprivation, legal impotence and oppression. The Nso' saw slavery as a means of increasing one's followers or dependants with acquired persons or of punishing social outcasts and war captives. Slaves were first and foremost human beings, and as such, their privileges were protected against violation by religious beliefs. They were members of their owners' families and lineages and individual members of society, into which they were rapidly integrated. But they were still acquired and societally deprived human beings who could be sold and bought. The study is based on fieldnotes of Phyllis M. Kaberry and Elizabeth M. Chilver, and on interviews conducted by the author in Nso' between 1980 and 1982. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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