Culture of Cameroon

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Cameroon has a rich and diverse culture made up of a mix of about 250 indigenous populations and just as many languages and customs. The country is nicknamed "Little Africa" as geographically, Cameroon consists of coastline, mountains, grass plains, forest, rainforest and desert, all of the geographical regions in Africa in one country. This also contributes to its cultural diversity as ways of life and traditional food dishes and traditions vary from geographical region to geographical region.



Religious holidays in Cameroon include:


Since an amendment was added to the Cameroon Constitution in 1992, Cameroon has been a multi-party state, which means there are multiple parties that have the potential to gain power over the government. Cameroon's first president, Ahmadou Ahidjo, was in power from 1960 to 1982. [1] The president holds executive power for seven years, for a maximum of two terms. The president and his cabinet hold the main power at the national level, while at the local level, the prefet and sous-prefet hold the most power. Getting a government position can happen several different ways: Regional background, ethical background, party loyalty, and who you know. The national and local levels have been known to work together, even though they have to deal with their own separate issues from each other. [2]


Cameroon culture consists of numerous religions including Christianity (about 69%), Islam (about 21%), and many other indigenous religions. The citizens of Cameroon are entitled to freedom of religion, as it is stated within their constitution. Therefore, citizens are free to practice any religion they choose, without harassment or forceful conversion. The northern part of Cameroon is heavily occupied by the Fulani people (Fula : Fulɓe; French : Peul or Peulh; also known Mbororo , though this is sometimes seen as pejorative[ citation needed ]). The Fulani are mainly Muslims, because Islam is the dominant religion in the northern region. The western region is home of the Bamum people, an ethnic group that also practices the Islamic religion. The French-speaking people are often inhabitants of the southern and western regions and the majority of them are known to be Catholic, while English speaking citizens of the west tend to be Protestants.


Cameroonian fashion is varied and often mixes modern and traditional elements. Note the wearing of sun glasses, Monk shoes, sandals, and a Smartwatch. Camerounais en tenue traditionnelle.jpg
Cameroonian fashion is varied and often mixes modern and traditional elements. Note the wearing of sun glasses, Monk shoes, sandals, and a Smartwatch.

Cameroon's relatively large and diverse population is also diveism, imperialism and globalization are all reflected in the clothes worn by modern Cameroonians.

Notable Cameroonian articles of clothing include: Pagnes, a sarongs worn by Cameroon women, Chechia, a traditional hat, Kwa, a male handbag and Gandura, male custom attire. [3] Wrappers and loincloths are used extensively by both women and men but their use varies by region with influences from Fulani styles more present in the north and Igbo and Yoruba styles in the south and west. [4]

Imane Ayissi is one of Cameroon's top fashion designers and has received international recognition. [5]

Culture and traditions

A musician plays traditional African music during the closing ceremony of French RECAMP-concept (reinforcement of African peacekeeping capacities) in Douala, November 23, 2006 Musician in Cameroon 061123-F-0560B-482.jpg
A musician plays traditional African music during the closing ceremony of French RECAMP-concept (reinforcement of African peacekeeping capacities) in Douala, November 23, 2006
A dancer at the National Festival of Arts and Culture in Yaounde. AccessoiresDanse10.jpg
A dancer at the National Festival of Arts and Culture in Yaoundé.

Cameroon has 250-300 distinct groups, and an estimated 300+ languages. [6] These languages include the Akoose language, the Gbaya languages, the Fula language, the Gyele language, the Koonzime language, the Mundang language, the Ngiemboon language, and the Vengo language. [7] Others include Ewondo, Bassa, Bamileke, Duala and Arabic in the North and Far-North regions.

Cameroon is divided into several provinces, which are dominated by specific ethnic or religious groups. Ethnic divisions often correspond to geography, which is also widely varied. Religious differences often correspond to colonial or other historical influence. [8]

Partly through the influence of colonialism, there is a national culture, and two distinct regional cultures: the Anglophone and Francophone regions, which primarily speak English and French and use different legal systems. The national culture is established through public institutions such as school, the multiparty political system, shared history of colonialism and a national love of football. [9]

Theatre of Cameroon is also another important aspect of local culture.


Traditional dance accessories







Traditional Dances









Traditional musical instruments







See also

Related Research Articles

Cameroon Country on the west coast of Africa

Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa and West Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although Cameroon is not an ECOWAS member state, it is geographically and historically in West Africa; the Southern Cameroons, which now form her Nord-Ouest and Sud-Ouest Regions, have a strong West African history in particular. However, since 2017, elements within the South West and North West regions have since declared an independent state called Ambazonia. The country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa. Cameroon is home to over 250 native languages spoken by nearly 25 million people.

Demographics of Cameroon

The demographic profile of Cameroon is complex for a country of its population. Cameroon comprises an estimated 250 distinct ethnic groups, which may be formed into five large regional-cultural divisions:

Fula people Ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa

The Fula,Fulani, or Fulɓe people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. Inhabiting many countries, they live mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa but also in South Sudan, Sudan, and regions near the Red Sea coast. The approximate number of Fula people is unknown due to clashing definitions regarding Fula ethnicity; various estimates put the figure between 35 and 45 million worldwide.

Music of Cameroon

The music of the Cameroon includes diverse traditional and modern musical genres. The best-known contemporary genre is makossa, a popular style that has gained fans across Africa, and its related dance craze bikutsi.

Ahmadou Ahidjo

Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo was a Cameroonian politician who was the first President of Cameroon, holding the office from 1960 until 1982. Ahidjo played a major role in Cameroon's independence from France as well as reuniting the French and English-speaking parts of the country. During Ahidjo's time in office, he established a centralized political system. Ahidjo established a single-party state under the Cameroon National Union (CNU) in 1966. In 1972, Ahidjo abolished the federation in favor of a unitary state. Ahidjo resigned from the presidency in 1982, and Paul Biya assumed the presidency. This was an action which was surprising to Cameroonians. Accused of being behind a coup plot against Biya in 1984, Ahidjo was sentenced to death in absentia, but he died of natural causes.

East Region (Cameroon) region of Cameroon

The East Region occupies the southeastern portion of the Republic of Cameroon. It is bordered to the east by the Central African Republic, to the south by Congo, to the north by the Adamawa Region, and to the west by the Centre and South Regions. With 109,002 km² of territory, it is the largest region in the nation as well as the most sparsely populated. Historically, the peoples of the East have been settled in Cameroonian territory for longer than any other of the country's many ethnic groups, the first inhabitants being the Baka pygmies.

West Region (Cameroon) region of Cameroon

The West Region is 14,000 km² of territory located in the central-western portion of the Republic of Cameroon. It borders the Northwest Region to the northwest, the Adamawa Region to the northeast, the Centre Region to the southeast, the Littoral Region to the southwest, and the Southwest Region to the west. The West Region is the smallest of Cameroon's ten regions in area, yet it has the highest population density.

Bamileke people Ethnic group of West Province of Cameroon

The Bamileke are a Grassfields people. They are the largest ethnic group in Cameroon and inhabit the country's West and Northwest Regions. The Bamileke are regrouped under several groups, each under the guidance of a chief or fon. They speak a number of related languages from the Eastern Grassfield branch of the GrassField language family. These languages are closely related, however, and some classifications identify a Bamileke dialect continuum with seventeen or more dialects. The Bamileke people are known for their very striking and often intricately beaded masquerades, including the impressive elephant mask.

Articles related to Cameroon include:

North Region (Cameroon) region of Cameroon

The North Region makes up 66,090 km² of the northern half of The Republic of Cameroon. Neighbouring territories include the Far North Region to the north, the Adamawa Region to the south, Nigeria to the west, Chad to the east, and Central African Republic to the southeast. The city of Garoua is both the political and industrial capital. Garoua is Cameroon's third largest port, despite the fact that the Bénoué River upon which it relies is only navigable for short periods of the year.

André-Marie Mbida

Andre-Marie Mbida was a Cameroonian statesman, a nationalist, the first Cameroonian to be elected Member of Parliament at the French National Assembly, a Prime Minister of Cameroon, the second African-born Prime Minister in Sub-Saharan Africa, the first Head of State of French-speaking autonomous Cameroon from 12 May to 16 February 1958, and the first political prisoner of independent Cameroon from 29 June 1962 to 29 June 1965.

Constitution of Cameroon

The Constitution of Cameroon is the supreme law of the Republic of Cameroon. Adopted in 1972, it is Cameroon's third constitution. The document consists of a preamble and 13 Parts, each divided into Articles. The Constitution outlines the rights guaranteed to Cameroonian citizens, the symbols and official institutions of the country, the structure and functions of government, the procedure by which the Constitution may be amended, and the process by which the provisions of the Constitution are to be implemented.

The Unity Day is a holiday in Cameroon celebrated on 20 May. On the 20th of May 1972, in a national referendum Cameroonians voted for a unitary state as opposed to the existing federal state. The United Nations Trust Territory known as French Cameroun achieved independence from France on 1 January 1960, and British Southern Cameroons changed status from a Trusteeship under British administration to a federated state within Cameroon on 1 October 1961. The government chose 20 May as Cameroon's National Day to commemorate President Ahmadou Ahidjo's abolishment of the federal system of government in favor of a unitary country in 1972.

Njomgang Isaac was a Cameroonian politician and administrator. He was the First black local Cameroonian Administrator appointed in Dschang Post Colonial Administration. He was born in 1931 at Tsep, Batoufam, West Region, Cameroon, and died in 2008.

Ernest Ouandié

Ernest Ouandié was a leader of the struggle for independence of Cameroon in the 1950s who continued to resist the government of President Ahmadou Ahidjo after Cameroon became independent in 1960. He was captured in 1970, tried and condemned to the death penalty. On 15 January 1971, he was publicly executed in Bafoussam.

Tankeu Noé was a member of the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) guerrilla forces in Cameroon fighting first against French colonial government and then against the government of Ahmadou Ahidjo in the Douala region.

Djaili Amadou Amal

Djaili Amadou Amal is a Fula, native to the Diamare in the Far North region of Cameroon is a Cameroonian writer, and feminist activist.

The Bamileke War, often known as guerre cachée, or the Hidden War, is the name of the independence struggle between Bamileke Cameroon's nationalist movement and France. The movement was spearheaded by the Cameroonian Peoples Union (UPC). Even after independence, the rebellion continued, shaping contemporary politics. The war began with riots in 1955 and continued after Cameroon gained independence in 1960. Following independence, the first President of Cameroon, Ahmadou Ahidjo requested continued French military intervention to fight the UPC rebels. The UPC rebellion was largely crushed by the Cameroonian Armed Forces and French Army by 1964. This war is often forgotten because it occurred at the height of France's biggest colonial independence struggle, the Algerian War.

The Anglophone Problem, as it is commonly referred to in Cameroon, is a socio-political issue rooted in Cameroon's colonial legacies from the Germans, British, and the French.


  1. "Ahmadou Ahidjo". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. "Culture of Cameroon - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family".
  3. "Cameroon clothing - A description of the traditional attire of Cameroon". Retrieved Jul 23, 2020.
  4. Culture and Customs of Cameroon, 2000, pg. 135, by, John Mukum Mbaku
  5. "Cameroon:Imane Ayissi detremined to project Cameroon's couture". Journal du Cameroun (in French). July 4, 2020.
  6. Archived copy from the Ethnologue Database website, archived from the original on 2006-07-11, retrieved 2006-07-12
  7. "Language of Cameroon: Cameroon language & listing of all Cameroon main languages".
  8. Cameroon. New Encyclopedia of Africa. Ed. John Middleton and Joseph C. Miller. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008. p298-307.Word Count:4863.
  9. Cameroon. PAMELA FELDMAN-SAVELSBERG. Countries and Their Cultures. Ed. Carol R. Ember and Melvin Ember. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. p384-396.Word Count:5376.

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