Inventing tradition in the Fako division of Cameroon: Chieftaincy succession rules in perspective
The paper unravels the distortion of chieftaincy succession rules in the Fako Division of Cameroon. Prior to European colonialism, most Cameroonian communities ascribed to hereditary chieftaincy stools which were recognized in centralized communities during Colonialism. In acephalous societies, the colonial state invented chiefs, eventually leading to the emergence of a chieftaincy custom in these ‗chiefless‘ societies. The 1977 decree, organizing chiefdoms in Cameroon, has led to distortion of chieftaincy succession rules especially in the Fako Division, where these rules have been misrepresented and politicized for selfish reasons. Consequently, the emerging rules are products of politics divorced from the cultural expressions of the communities.
Keywords: Chieftaincy Succession Rules, Customs, Distortion, Fako Division.