Music and dance
Cameroonian rituals, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling all include music and dancing. Traditional dances are carefully structured and segregate men and women, or prohibit one sex from participating at all. Dances serve a variety of purposes, from sheer amusement to religious devotion. Music has always been passed down orally. A chorus of singers echoes a soloist in a typical performance.
Traditional instruments include dancers’ bells, clappers, drums and talking drums, flutes, horns, rattles, scrapers, stringed instruments, whistles, and xylophones; the precise mix varies by ethnic group and area. Some singers execute whole songs on their own, accompanied by a harp-like instrument.
Ambasse bey of the coast, assiko of the Bassa, mangambeu of the Bangangte, and tsamassi of the Bamileke are all popular music genres. Anglophone Cameroonian artists have been inspired by Nigerian music, and Prince Nico Mbarga’s highlife song “Sweet Mother” is the best-selling African single of all time.
Makossa and bikutsi are the most popular music genres. Makossa is a Douala-based band that combines folk, highlife, soul, and Congo music. In the 1970s and 1980s, artists like as Manu Dibango, Francis Bebey, Moni Bilé, and Petit-Pays popularized the style throughout the globe. The Ewondo created Bikutsi as a kind of battle music. Beginning in the 1940s, artists like Anne-Marie Nzié transformed it into a popular dance song, and singers like Mama Ohandja and Les Têtes Brulées popularized it worldwide in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
Although regional cuisine differs, a big, one-course evening meal is typical across the nation. Cocoyams, maize, cassava (manioc), millet, plantains, potatoes, rice, or yams are common ingredients, which are frequently crushed into dough-like fufu. This is accompanied with a sauce, soup, or stew consisting of greens, groundnuts, palm oil, or other components. Meat and fish are popular but pricey additions, with chicken often saved for rare occasions. Dishes are often spicy, seasoned with salt, red pepper sauce, and Maggi.
Although silverware is popular, food is typically handled with the right hand. Breakfast consists of bread and fruit leftovers with coffee or tea. Generally, wheat flour is used in a variety of morning dishes such as puff-puff (doughnuts), accra banana (made from bananas and flour), bean cakes, and many more. Snacks are popular, particularly in bigger cities where they may be purchased from street sellers.
Traditional lunchtime beverages include water, palm wine, and millet beer, but beer, soda, and wine have gained popularity. 33 Export beer, along with Castel, Amstel, and Guinness, is the official drink of the national soccer team and one of the most popular brands.
Local arts and crafts
Throughout the nation, traditional arts and crafts are practiced for economic, ornamental, and religious reasons. Woodcarvings and sculptures are particularly popular. The western highlands’ high-quality clay is ideal for pottery and ceramics. Basket weaving, beading, brass and bronze working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, and leather working are some of the other crafts. Traditional housing designs make use of locally available materials and range from nomadic Mbororo’s temporary wood-and-leaf shelters to southern peoples’ rectangular mud-and-thatch houses. Buildings constructed of materials such as cement and tin are becoming more prevalent. Independent cultural groups (Doual’art, Africréa) and artist-run projects are primarily responsible for promoting contemporary art (Art Wash, Atelier Viking, ArtBakery).