by Tangwing Pius
Mankon, also known as Ala’ah Mankon is a village in the North West region of Cameroon. It is the host village of the capital of the North West Region, Bamenda.
It came about as a result of five ethnic groups coming together. It is one of the oldest villages in the grass field of the North West region.
The head of the village is the Fon. He is the custodian of the tradition of the people of the fondom. When the Fon dies (disappears according to the people of this region), he is succeeded by the biological son of the former Fon.
The Mankon people are known for the battle (Battle of Mankon) that they fought against the German colonial forces in the 19th century. During this conflict, the German colonial forces, joined the Bali people, led by Eugen Zintgraff and defeated the Mankon people.
The conflict took three phases. In the first two phases the German and Bali forces, armed with guns and cannons, were defeated by the Mankon people who were in possession of spears and machetes. But during the third phase in 1901, the Mankon people were finally defeated and remained under the German control until after the first World War.
At this time the northwestern Cameroon became a British mandate territory until 1961, when the British-administered Cameroons achieved independence.
Mankon village has several touristic attractions, the most renowned being the modern museum. This museum is found at the Fons palace. The museum consist of several craft and art gallery, representing an essential part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the people some as old as hundreds of years ago.
Between December and January each year (in a period of about one week), the people of Mankon come together during their annual dance to celebrate and mix with their Fon, display their culture through arts, craft and music from traditional drums and modern instruments.
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