MODERNIZATION AND CHANGING CULTURAL VALUES OF THE SAWA PEOPLE OF THE LITTORAL REGION

Project Details
Department Tourism and Hospitality Management  
Project ID  THM0004
Price Cameroonian: 5000 Frs
International: $15
No of pages  71
Methodology Descriptive Statistics/ Chi-Square 
Reference  Yes
Format  MS word & PDF
Chapters  1-5
Extra Content Table of content, Questionnaire

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MODERNIZATION AND CHANGING CULTURAL VALUES OF THE SAWA PEOPLE OF THE LITTORAL REGION

Project Details
Department  Tourism and Hospitality Management 
Project ID THM0004 
Price Cameroonian: 5000 Frs
International: $15
No of pages 71 
Methodology Descriptive Statistics/ Chi-Square  
Reference  Yes
Format  MS word & PDF
Chapters  1-5
Extra Content Table of content, Questionnaire

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Modernization is a phenomenon that can be defined as the evolutionary transition from a traditional to a modern society. It is most often confused with the terms ‘globalization’ which has to do with the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. Modernization is a process of change through which traditional societies tend to adapt themselves culturally, economically and politically to suit the requirements of the contemporary world. It is also a process of change in the cultural aspects of a particular society and cuts across the aspects of culture that include the food, art, religion (beliefs systems), traditional marriage, language, music, government and the daily life of a group of people and how these aspects have changed over time and space in this case the Sawa people of the Littoral Region.

The Duala (or Douala) is an ethnic group in Cameroon. They primarily inhabit the littoral region on the coast and form a portion of the Sawabantu or “coastal peoples” of Cameroon. Historically, this ethnic group played an influential role in Cameroon because of their long contact with Europeans, high rate of education, and wealth gained over centuries as slave traders and landowners.

The Duala (Sawa) are related to several ethnic groups (or tribes) in the Cameroon littoral (coastal area), with whom they share a common traditional origin or ancestry, history and cultures. About 14 ethnic groups have been identified that have a common ancestry with the Douala people and they include the Ewodi, the Bodiman, the Pongo, the Bakole, the Bakweri (or Kpwe), the Bamboko, the Isubu (Isuwu or Bimbians), the Limba (or Malimba), the Mungo, and the Wovea. All of the aforementioned ethnic groups are best known or properly identified under the generic name ‘SAWA’ which means ‘coastal people’. Hence, the term Sawa denotes an umbrella term for the different ethnic groups. The Batanga (Bassa) of the Kribi Area could be added to the preceding list as they claim to be descendants of Mbedi and they report some degree of mutual comprehension with the Malimba tribe.

Because the Duala have been dominant, and these other groups profess some sort of kinship to the people. In addition, many other coastal ethnic groups such as Balong and Bakossi who are culturally and historically more or less related to the Duala and are under Duala influence and most of these people speak Duala to some extent. Duala is also spoken by a great part of the Bassa and Bakoko people. Thus the word “Duala” may also be used to refer to a single Duala tribe or possibly to some “duala-ized” Bassa, Bakoko or Manenguba tribes. Further, the language of the Bakundu (Oroko), although usually not classified as a Duala language, seems to be closely related to Bakweri (Mokpwe), which is clearly a Duala language. Thus the Bakundu may also be a Duala tribe.

The Duala are primarily concentrated in Cameroon’s Littoral Region in the Moungo, Nkam, and Wouri divisions. Their settlements lie largely along the coast or just inland. The Wouri estuary, where the Wouri, Mungo, and Dibamba Rivers empty, forms the centre of Duala country. Douala is the capital, and many Duala live in and around the city, although today it has come to reflect the diversity of Cameroon as a whole. Douala is the economic capital of Cameroon and contains its main seaport or the port of entry. Douala also harbors 80% of Cameroon Industries. Because of the centralized nature of the economic activities in Douala by the Government modernization and changes in patterns are more noticeable here than in any other city in Cameroon.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Universal Declaration on culture promotes the principle that culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This aspect is embodied in the singularity and uniqueness of the identities of groups and societies that make up mankind. As a source of creativity and innovation culture is important for humankind just as biodiversity is important for nature. In this sense it is common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.

Cameroon having about 360 ethnic groups is usually denoted ‘Africa in miniature’, In Cameroon, modernization represents a substantial break with tradition, that is a set of social practices which seek to inculcate certain behaviors norms and values which imply continuity with the past. Tradition is also associated with widely accepted rituals and other forms of symbolic behavior.

By contrast modernization is an interdisciplinary cultural concept exploring political, social, economic and cultural transformations that have taken place in all the dimensions of culture and it is especially present in the Littoral region due to the advent of westernization or western Influence. Through colonial rule westernization brought Christianity. Recently, western influence also extends to the advent of technological developments. Together their effects are visible in various communities and ethnic groups in Cameroon.

  1. 2 Problem Statement

Over the years many changes have occurred in the cultures of the Douala people and this changes include;

Modernization has brought along many issues in the belief systems of the Sawa people. Many Duala believe that witchcraft holds a malign influence on everyday life but this belief has been relegated to the background towards the reception of Christianity.

As a result of modernization one problem that emerges is, the death celebration or funeral rites among the Sawa people that has experienced a shift from what used to be. Many aspects of the Sawa death ceremonies have been abandoned. There has been a net change in the manner in which they commemorate their dead. Before the advent of modernization there use to be no mortuary to keep their deceased but modernization has brought along many changes which are going to be investigated.

The traditional marriage pattern among the Douala people has experienced a shift from what used to be and what it is now. The aspect of traditional marriage of the Sawa people has seen certain aspects of the culture ignored or abandoned. The Duala have traditionally practiced polygamy, though with Modernization, this custom has become rare. The Duala have never barred marriages between sub-lineages of the same group, nor have they ever put much restriction on inter-tribal marriage. In fact, today, such unions have grown increasingly common. Many young Sawa people jump into a marriage without carrying out proper investigations and lack of information about the other partner whereas this was not the case. And this has led to many broken marriages and has left a disastrous effect in the society.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. How was the early form of the Sawa traditional marriage and how is it practiced now?
  2. How was death celebrated in the past amongst the Sawa and how is it practiced now?
  3. How was the belief systems of the Sawa people before the advent of modernization?

1.4 Objectives Of The Study

The General Objective of this study is to;

Identify the effects of modernization on traditional marriage, death ceremonies and the beliefs systems which form part of the cultures of the Sawa people and which seem to have been relegated to the background.

1.5 The Specific Objectives of this study are to;

  1. To examine the rate at which the belief systems of the Sawa people has changed as a result of modernization
  2. To find out the extent to which modernization has altered the manner in which the Sawa people carry out their death ceremony
  3. To assess the effects of modernization on the traditional marriage systems or patterns of the Sawa people and what has changed over time.

 

This is a premium project material, to get the complete research project make payment of 5,000FRS (for Cameroonian base clients) and $15 for international base clients. See details on payment page

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