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Crossover (young adults + adults)
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Author of the Entry:
Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleanor A. Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rose Nanje Mande (Storyteller)
Age of narrator: 50 (in 2017)
Social status: Koro (Female elder)
Language of narration: Lukundu
Bio prepared by Eleanor A. Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com and Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background*: The Bakundu people came from the Congo basin and settled in Beboka in the Ndian Division, but soon left this settlement because of the hilly and barren nature of the land. They found present day settlements in Mbonge, Kake, Ngolo, Balue, Itoki, Mbakwa, Banga, etc, which were all named after the sons and grandsons of Ngoe, the founding father. The bulk of the population today practice Christianity, which was introduced by the Germans through the Basel Mission. However, this has not completely eliminated the secret traditional cults that tie the people to the ancestral and spiritual worlds. They believe in the phenomenon of double souls for those who belong to these secret cults; one soul lives in the human body and another in a land or water animal. Their main activity is farming, mostly of cocoa, which contributes to about three quarters of the Sub-Division’s income.
*Source: Okia, Timothy Musima, "Social Developments in Bakundu during German Colonial Rule in Cameroon: 1884–1914", Przegląd Zachodni 1/2014, Poznań, 2014, available at iz.poznan.pl (accessed: January 15, 2019).
In the beginning, Obase (God) created Kongwe Mountain. Since he was alone, he created the great Botu tree, which he planted on the Kongwe Mountain to produce all the species of things on earth. The branches of the great Botu tree brought forth the various creatures that exist in the world today. One of the branches brought forth the human race, another cats, another dogs, the cows, the water bodies, the rocks and every other thing that exists.
The branch that brought forth humans further forked into two: one brought forth the good human race while the other brought forth the bad human race. The good human race pleaded with the great Botu tree to extend its root abroad and cause the soil of Kongwe to be extended to other parts of the world so that the good human race could spread to the rest of the world. The bad human race did not, however, like this development. It wanted both races to be in the same place so that it could subdue the good human race.
Before the Botu tree could expand its roots so that the good human race should fill other parts of the earth, the branch of the bad human race had introduced suffering and evil. That was how the whole world was created and also why evil dominates on the earth.
This myth bears resemblance to creation myths that place God at the helm of creation. The myth does not only explain the creation of all things, but also serves as a medium through which the Bakundu people relate with the rest of the human community with respect to their worldview and cosmology. It suggests that Bakundu believe in a supreme creator deity who is supposed to be venerated for his wisdom and all-knowingness. Finally, the myth explains the origin of the concepts of good and evil and why evil seems to dominate the world.
Sprout, Barbara, Primal Myths: Creation around the World, San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1979.
Von Franz, Marie-Louise, Creation Myths, Boston: Shambhala, 1995.
Researcher: Divine Che Neba
Research Assistant: Lenya Colle Malike
Editor: Eleanor A. Dasi
Method of data collection: Tape Recording