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Mambila


            Having read the two ethnographies of C. Rehfisch I have decided to write about three aspects of Mambila's life; marriage and death and the belief in their ancestors. As we will see there are many disagreements between Meek and Rehfisch of various aspects of Mambila's life. In my opinion, this misunderstanding might have occurred because of the different time of doing the research by these two anthropologists. Meek conducted his fieldwork in 1931 while his follower went there twenty two years later in 1953. F. Fehfisch also mentions about the difficulties that he was experiencing, which suggests that the information he obtained could be inaccurate. His two main reasons were that the Mambilas were very suspicious and only few of them understood English. He admits that he never learned their language well enough to talk to them without his interpreter. I always thought that it was the anthropologist that was supposed to learn the local language, but I guess that some were not trying hard enough. I do not want to hide it; F. Rehfisch did not make a good impression with that. He also complains a lot about uncooperative inhabitants of Mambila. "They would either tell me nothing or else untruths."" He also mentions that the Mambila were getting very tired after being questioned, so that must have been very frustrating to Rehfisch. He does say that after few months, more and more people were willing to cooperate and that he developed a plan of questioning them for not more than fifteen minutes at the time. None of the anthropologists used any techniques other than those normally used by social anthropologists were used to study the Mambila. The Mambila are a tribe of about 99,000 people living on the Mambila plateau in Sardauna Local Government Area and in Cameroon. They are believed to have come from north-eastern Africa. Besides their own language, Mambila people speak Fulfulde as a trade language.


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