Posts Tagged ‘Presses Universitaires de Mokolo’

The use of kuley in resolving land disputes among the Mofu in Cameroon

This article examines ancestral worship in the resolution of land disputes among the Mofu community in the Mandara Mountains of far North Cameroon. Since the return of migrants from major metropolis that began in the 1990s, customary courts are now limited in the management of these disputes, as traditional leaders increasingly favor the party that paid well in conflict resolution.  It is disputes that divide the society into the descendants of slave-free men, elder-younger siblings, blacksmiths-no-blacksmiths, nephews-uncles, and clan-chieftaincy. The disputes’ questioning is brought in front of the village chiefdom for the legitimate plot owner to have recourse to the ancestral spirits, kuley, with the aim of unveiling the truth. The collection of information from the custodians of tradition underscores the undeniable role played by the ordeal in revealing the truth on land issues in a society where corruption is gradually gaining grounds in customary jurisdictions.

Keywords: Ancestral worship, sacrificial pot, customary courts, Land disputes, Mofu, Mandara Mountains, and Cameroon.

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