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In Search of Salt: Changes in Beti (Cameroon) Society, 1880-1960

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Volume 6

Cameroon Studies

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In Search of Salt

Changes in Beti (Cameroon) Society, 1880-1960

Frederick Quinn

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186 pages, Bibliog., Index

ISBN  978-1-84545-006-9 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (August 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-884-5 eBook

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“The first quality that captivates the reader of this unusual book on a segmentary society in confrontation with colonial modernity is the particularly meticulous identification of the sources…it…opens access to the life and words of prominent and brilliant Beti men who struggled, in their own day, with their own questions and answers.”  ·  Journal of African History


Relatively recent Bantu-speaking migrants to central Cameroon, the Beti have had an eventful history. Based on extensive interviews and traditional Beti (Fang) poetry, in addition to German and French archival sources, the author of this readable study recreates the social structure of the Beti and their self-perceptions in pre-colonial times, their disruptive encounters with first German (1880-1918) and then French (1918-1960) colonialism, until Cameroon’s independence.

An American diplomat, who was posted in Cameroon for several years, Frederick Quinn holds higher academic degrees in history and African Studies and has published widely on Africa. His Democracy at Dawn: Notes from Poland and Points East was named a TLS International Book of the Year.

Subject: General Anthropology Colonialism
Area: Africa



Chapter 1. Traditional Beti Society
Chapter 2. Social Organization and the Sso Rite
Chapter 3. “In the Time of Major Dominik”: The Beti and the Germans, 1887–1916
Chapter 4. The German Presence: Traders and Missionaries
Chapter 5. The Beti and the French
Chapter 6. Times of Expansion: The Inland Railroad, Cocoa Production, the Catholic Church
Chapter 7. The Beti from World War II to Independence


Appendix I: Traditional Beti Literature
Appendix II: Aspects of Traditional Beti Society, by Abbé Theodore Tsala
Appendix III: English Translation of Appendix II

Abbia Stones, by Frederick Quinn
Eight Beti Stones, by Frederick Quinn


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