Sons and Daughters of the Soil
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Sons and Daughters of the Soil

Land and Boundary Conflicts in North West Cameroon, 1955-2005

Walter Gam Nkwi

This book makes a rare and original contribution on the history of little documented internal land conflicts and boundary misunderstandings in Cameroon, where attention has tended to focus too narrowly on international boundary conflicts such as that between Cameroon and Nigeria.

The study is of the Bamenda Grassfields, the region most plagued by land and boundary conflicts in the country. Despite claims of common descent and cultural similarities by most communities in the region, relations have been tested and dominated by recurrent land and boundary conflicts since the middle of the 20th Century. Nkwi takes us through these contradictions, as he draws empirically and in general on his rich historical and ethnographic knowledge of the tensions and conflicts over land and boundaries in the region to situate and understand the conflicts between Bambili and Babanki-Tungoh – the epicenter of  land and boundary – from c.1950s – 2009. Little if any scholarly attention has focused on this all important issue, its pernicious effects on the region notwithstanding.

This book takes a bold step in the direction of the social history of land and boundary conflicts in Cameroon, and demonstrates that there is much of scholarly interest in understanding the centrality of land and boundaries in the configuration and contestation of human relations.  In his innovative and stimulating blend of history and ethnography, Nkwi points to exciting new directions of paying closer attention to relationships informed by consciousness on and around land and boundaries.

ISBN 9789956578924 | 246 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2011 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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About the Author

Walter Gam Nkwi

Walter Gam Nkwi is a historian who graduated from the University of Buea, Cameroon with a Masters in African History. He is currently a Research Fellow at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, where he is currently writing up his PhD on the “Social History of Communication Technology, Mobility and Social Hierarchies amongst the Kom of the Bamenda Grassfields of Cameroon from1928-1998”. Nkwi, has published extensively and variously, including on ethnicity, football, art, social movements and elite associations in Cameroon.

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