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Our Ancestors Used To Live On This Mountain

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces the Dii, their symbolic departure from the mountain and their encounter with Islam, European colonialism, and Christianity. It presents the historical forces that moved the Dii toward new plausibility structures (Berger 1969), and toward the social reorganisation of traditional structures that will be analysed through different approaches throughout the chapter. The chapter analyses two 'sociological turning points' as an introduction to how the Dii manoeuvred through the spiritual and political changing landscape of Africa in the first part of the 20th century. The first contact between Europeans and the indigenous population dates back to the 15th century when the first Portuguese explorers arrived at the coast of Cameroon. Friendly trade and political contacts increased between the coast and the Europeans from the 1840s following several treaties made between local chiefs and white traders.

Keywords: Cameroon; Christianity; Dii people; European colonialism; Islam; political power



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