February 1, 2013

"The earliest inhabitants of Cameroon were probably the Baka (Pygmies)."

"They still inhabit the forests of the south and east provinces...."

During the late 1770s and the early 19th century, the Fulani, a pastoral Islamic people of the western Sahel, conquered most of what is now northern Cameroon, subjugating or displacing its largely non-Muslim inhabitants.

Although the Portuguese arrived on Cameroon's doorstep in the 16th century, malaria prevented significant European settlement and conquest of the interior until the late 1870s, when large supplies of the malaria suppressant, quinine, became available....
Cameroon is today's "History of" country.

8 comments:

edutcher said...

From Wiki, "The northern part of Cameroon was an important part of the Muslim slave trade network."

Yes, let's blame those nasty old DWMs.

Marshal said...

Are you alert to the possibility someone will hack wiki on the day you're discussing a relatively unknown country?

Chip Ahoy said...

Can they hack Google Earth? It's wonderful. I keep a button for it now and go directly to places all the time and look at what people decide to show. Much better than Wikipedia, it seems, I don't know how they edit if they do. For instance, the photos that people pin show Cameroon being all jungly and dirt poor. I thought it interesting the Japanese photographers tune to the most Japanese-looking vignettes to photograph, groups of storks and such, a mustering of storks as it were.

ironrailsironweights said...

Despite being a tropical country Cameroon occasionally does get snow, on the 13,500-foot summit of Mount Cameroon.

It's also, as far as I can tell, the only country in the world named after a food item (Portuguese Camaroes = shrimp).

Peter

Kirk Parker said...

Peter,

Interesting!

Though there are plenty of cities named after foods, e.g. Vienna, Hamburg.

Clyde said...

The map of Cameroon looks like a peacock in profile, with its tail truncated.

Other than that, Cameroon seems like most other countries in central Africa, an artifact of colonialism where disparate tribes and cultures were Frankensteined together into a country for the convenience of imperial Europeans.

Michael McNeil said...

According to anthropologist Colin Turnbull: “the Pygmy hunter earns his spurs by killing an elephant, which he does by running underneath the animal and piercing its bladder with a succession of quick jabs from a short-shafted spear.”

Hunting elephants single-handed, and at such an intimate range — not to speak of by a people as diminutive as the pygmies — is an astounding demonstration of personal bravery.

Mitch H. said...

Huh. The wiki basically starts at colonization, which for me, is the least interesting portion of any given African country's history. All colonial histories are variations on a theme, essentially alike, and an extension of the colonizing nation's own history. A given country's history ought to be a record of that people or state's self-ownership: what they did when they had control of themselves.

National history ought to be an expression of agency. Otherwise, we're talking about just another subject province or race within some other overarching story.

BTW, that's a really unfortunate tribal name, Baka. Japanese tourists must giggle like the dickens when they hear that.