Introduction / History
The Awing people live in a reasonably secluded valley Southwest of Bamenda in the North West Province of Cameroon. They live in one village which is made up of several quarters. There is a Fon (a village chief or king) who is the traditional ruler and has a very important social and political role in the Awing society.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Nearly all the Awing people belong nominally to a Christian church. The only Muslims in the area are from other people groups who moved into the area. Although people do not like to talk about it, traditional religion and culture still have a very strong hold on the people.
It is very common for men to have more than one wife. The Fon has a good number of wives, and he inherits the wives from the last Fon when taking over the throne. Many of the Fon palaces have Christians slogans such as "Christ is the head of this Palace", yet Fons have one hundred wives or more and are the head of any traditional ceremony. It is extremely hard for believers to break out of traditions. Often Christianity has failed to reach the hearts of the people. They go to church. They pray and sing songs, but when they gather for a meeting that includes traditional music and dancing their hearts are really there. They need a church that is able to show them that they do not need to give up their identity in order to be true followers of Jesus. The mother tongue is vitally important in order to make Christ a brother and God a father and not a white ruler.
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