MANYU: A RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE


Manyu division in the South West Region of Cameroon has a rich cultural heritage, which cannot be passed by. Its richness in diversity range from its popular traditional dish, to the traditional regalia; and the customary dances and songs, to the peculiarity of its secret societies amongst others. These all are culminated in the perceptions that people have of the people of Manyu.

A typical Manyu indigene, in the traditional regalia

A typical Manyu indigene, in the traditional regalia

The traditional regalia of the Manyu people is one rich in colour and diversity. For the males, it is a white shirt, worn over a nicely threaded wrapper, all tied by the side. Beads usually accompany, hung on the neck and usually of a red colour. Interesting of all these is the accompanying hat. Either of a red colour accompanied by feathers that signify the person’s titles, or they are adorned with an assortment of cowries and other traditional ornaments that give the wear its splendor. The ladies are decently simple in their big gowns, commonly called in Cameroon “Kaba”, with a gracious headscarf well intertwined on the head.

Eru is a traditional dish well known in Cameroon and in neighbouring Nigeria; a delicacy of the Manyu people. Eaten with its complement made of fermented cassava paste, commonly known as “water fufu” or “Akpu”, the dish widely satisfies the cravings of both national and international appetites as well as markets.

Moninkim

Moninkim (Photo credit: fakoman)

Manyu traditional dances are a sight to behold. The popular “Moninkim” features a lady with a mirrored basket, with “cha-chas” on her legs. These produce a melody that even non-Manyu tend to move with unconsciously.

The “Ekpe” and “Obasinjom” secret societies are amongst the most glaring in Manyu, where title holders are often referred to as “Sesseku”, and chiefs called “Nfor”. The Manyu culture is actually an interesting one, that most should have a feel of, whenever they set foot in Cameroon.

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