Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Enthronement of a Queen Mother (Babungo, Cameroon) PhotoNews

By FC Ndi
The coronation of the Queen Mother, Nchio Mayani at Babungo Palace.
 There was euphoria when the supreme regulatory fraternity of the Babungo fondom in Ngoketunjia in the North West Region of Cameroon summoned all the queen mothers to line up facing the sacred forest for the unexpected. It was at this point that one of the queen mothers from among the queens was chosen. She was placed on a stool and robbed with cam wood. A red feather and a porcupine quill was placed on her head and a special walking stick handed to her. While members of the secret society were performing the coronation, the other queen mothers chanted in approval of the decision. Two other queen mothers and two princesses are also chosen carryout errands for the Nchio and rob her with cam wood for some days.
The colourful coronation rite which was performed by the Babungo “Ngumba” (supreme regulatory fraternity) was a mark of honour and recognition to the most loyal, faithful and dutiful wife of the fon. Nchio in the Babungo dialect we were told means Fon’s Mother who has been enthroned by the Kwifon or Ngumba and who deserves the same respect like the fon. Traditionally, when the fon is enthroned, the mother of the fon must one day be enthroned as queen mother. This was exactly what transpired today at the Babungo Palace. In the Babungo traditional setup, the queen mother is automatically the administrator of the Royal family and she wields the same powers like the fon. She is equally the adviser of the fon and is responsible to settle minor cases between the queens, princes and princesses. The queen mother also has a front role to play during the marriage of princesses. In the absence of the fon, she is authorized to receive royal gifts and keep them for the fon.

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