THAUMATURGY IN CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONAL RELIGION: THE CASE OF NSO' IN MID-CENTURY BY E. M. CHILVER (University of Oxford) Introduction The kingdom (or Fondom as it is locally called) of Nso', once an independent polity, lies in the central high plateau of Cameroon: it is about the size of Luxemburg, contiguous with the larger kingdom of Bamum, and had a population of 150,000 in 1976, now larger. 1 This Fondom, which appears to have originated in a confedera- tion of clans, one of them the dynastic one, is one of over a hundred in the mountainous region called the Grassfields; these varied con- siderably in the responsibilities accorded to the ruler and the means he had for exercising them. This long-settled region was drawn with increasing momentum into the currents of trade radiating from the Atlantic slave ports and into the Hausa-dominated trade of the Benue lands. By the 'sixties of the nineteenth century the peoples of the region had absorbed one set of invaders, the Chamba-led Ba'ni, and, except round its edges, had managed to resist or recover from the destructive and mercenary slave-raids into which the jihad of Othman dan Fodio had degenerated. This is no place
Journal of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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