19 May 2017

Cameroon: Traditional Regalia As Unifying Factor

The four-day exhibition at the National Museum ends today May 18, 2017.

The exhibition fair organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education in collaboration with other ministries, civil society organisations, religious and traditional authorities as well as corporate bodies was on day three yesterday. The forum is organised to promote stakeholders' works in sectors such as craft, clothing industry, technological innovations, agro-pastoral production, arts, aesthetics and cosmetics. It also serves as a platform to promote unity and national integration by showcasing local cultural wealth. In a tour of the exhibition stands at the National Museum yesterday May 17, 2017, Cameroon Tribune observed a multiplicity of traditional attires from across the country which depict Cameroon's unity in diversity and a veritable inspiration for living together. Cameroon's traditional attires vary greatly from one region to the other and are most often in function of religion, tribal heritage, climate, customs and beliefs.

The Northern Regions of Cameroon, for instance, which are predominantly Muslim are showcasing their light colourful free flow robe and head covering traditional attires enriched with embroidery worn by both male and female with some gender modifications. Their dressing code is a way of easy identification and it makes them very unique. The attire is not only worn by Muslims but Christians too due to social integration and the people's desire to learn more about the culture and traditional of other tribes. In the South West Region, a Bakweri man in the village dresses in a long waist cloth called sanja tied round the waist with two overlapping edges by the sides called masu'u topped by a long sleeve shirt, preferably white, with a head tie or scarf around the neck. Usually, a hat may be worn if the man so desires. Nowadays, it is very common to find a North Westerner dressed in kabba feeling free in his or her outfit likewise a Bakweri man dressed in the traditional attire of the North West without any problem or fear. Social integration and intermarriages strongly contribute to this. Marthe Fifien Pemboura, an exhibitor at the National Museum who trades in Cameroon traditional wears said she is very happy doing such business because it is very lucrative to her. Many go in for tradition wears as it makes people feel at home. Eyinga Nna Tatiana said, "I love wearing Cameroon traditional attires for they look unique on me and make me look very responsible in them, though they are very expensive."

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