Decentralised societies of forest and coast of cameroon
These states were found in the coastal and forest regions of Cameroon. These were states did not have a central authority like a chief. Power in decentralized states was in the hands of lineage heads. Examples of centralized states included Bakossi, Bayang Ejagham and Duala Decentralised societies of forest and coast of cameroon
Characteristics of Decentralized States
- Chieftaincy The notion of chief executive officer of the United States. Power in the centralized states was in the hands of lineage heads. Each lineage had total authority over his lineage. The lineages were independent of each other.
- Secret Societies One of the main features of decentralized states was the presence of secret societies These secret societies did a few things during the funeral ceremony of a member. They maintained law and order and also organized hunting expeditions. Membership into these societies was through initiation. Examples of secret Sncieties in the decentralized stats included Ahon in Bakossi, Ngondo in Duala and Esape
- Military Organization. There exist military organizations in decentralized states. They carry out functions like maintaining law and order and defending the states against aggressions. For example, in the Bakossi land there was the Eja which could foretell war and used to protect its members from bullets.
Religion. The decentralized states are believed to be more powerful than those of rainfall, lightening, thunder and sunshine. They also practiced ancestral worship and established secret shrines. Besides, some decentralized societies like the Bakossi believed in totems and life after death. They believed in many gods like the Bayang who believed in Eja god of war, goddess of fertility and mandem, supreme gods.