BATIBO, North West Region of Cameroon
by Tangwing Pius
Palm Wine production in Batibo, North West Region of Cameroon
Batibo, formerly referred to as Aghwi, is the capital of Batibo Sub-Division of the Momo Division of the North West Region of Cameroon.
It is located along the Trans-African Highway, (precisely along the Bamenda-Mamfe highway), about some 27 miles west of Bamenda, the capital town of the North West Region and about 100 miles east of the federal republic of Nigeria. It is located between latitudes 575 and 590 north of the equator, longitudes 975 east of the Greenwich meridian, and at the transition between the equatorial forest in the south and the savannah to the north.
It has an estimated population of 20.000 inhabitants, with a time zone ID of Douala/Africa. It is sandwiched between the Savannah and the tropical forests.
It has two seasons (the rainy and the dry seasons). The average number of rainy days is 165 within a year, with an annual rainfall of approximately 2500 mm.
It is the economic, social, political and cultural heartbeat of the Moghamo and Widikum tribes. Most of its inhabitants are made up of farmers, traders, craftsmen, animal and bird farming like goats, sheep, cows, rabbits, pigs and chickens.
The Batibo culture portrays itself in rhythmic music, traditional outfits, artwork, folklore and traditional rites. Crops grown there are mostly yams, beans, corn, peanuts, cassava, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, palmnuts and plantains, plums, kolanuts, coffee, coffee, cocoa, cashew nuts.
Also cultivated in Batibo are fruits and vegetables which include pineapples, passion fruit, guava, sugar cane, monkey kola, berries, okra, Bitter leaf, leeks, oranges, avocados, water melon and pawpaw, etc.
Batibo and its catchment area of Moghamo is a palm wine capital producing a lot of sweet palm wine tapped from the raffia palm tree. The white wine is locally referred to as Fitchuk and is a staple at all occasions. In other places it is referred to as “mbuh”.
Frequent meals in this village include “Nang-tari”- a pourish meal made of coco-yams, and bitter herbs (bitter leaves) and Huckle Berry (Njama Njama) and cocoyams. Other types of food are yams cooked with meat, fish, chicken, vegetables and spices and rice, fufu, ndole, eru, achu, minyondo, koki, garri, etc.
Their traditional dances include the Tiwara, Nchibi, Mareway, Ambolo, Njang, Ngo, the Royal dance and the Nere.
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