The Virtual Institute of Mambila Studies seeks to collate and connect the different research and researchers with an interest in the Mambila people of the Nigeria - Cameroon borderland and their neighbours; their languages and the area in which they live. We take a broad view of Mambila, including other groups speaking related languages such as Kwanja, Vute, Wawa, Nizaa, Njerep (3 speakers at last count!) Twendi (35 speakers), Tep, and others. Our research is primarily of an anthropological and linguistic nature; abstracts or full texts of papers are available at the site. The currently available work includes reports on Zeitlyn's research on kinship and language and his annotated version of Meek's early ethnological work in the region, and Connell's comparative linguistic research and work on tone realization in Mambila, as well as a full bibliography of anthropological, linguistic, and related research on Mambila. VIMS was established by David Zeitlyn (anthropology) and Bruce Connell (linguistics). We would welcome your comments addresses below.
The following inline image acts as a link to photographs of the "Physical Institute of Mambila Studies" in Somié, Cameroon which has been the base for much of this research.
March 2020 New book on Mambila Divination. The image below links to the publishers website which includes a preview
The work of a cooperative group doing reforestation work in the area around Somié
Photos from Atta 1980s Some of Riek van Koevorden's photos from Atta taken when working there as a lay missionary in the early 1980s.
Some videos shot around Somié in December 2013. These include communal work to make a new road and dancing at the Protestant Church Harvest festival.
At last a solution to all the problems planning Mambila ritual: A calendar showing the traditional ten day week and the phases of the moon
Online fulltext now available. With
the permission of the publisher we now include the pdf of the
David Zeitlyn N. Mial & C. Mbe, Trois Etudes sur les Mambila de Somié, Cameroun, Groupe de Recherches sur l'Afrique Francophone, Boston, Mass., 2000. (download size 4.7 MB)
Obituary for Degah Francois by Jonas GNEMABE
Some Somié produced videos
"Women's sua in Somié 2012" now available online.
Video of Nggwun 2011 and a track from a 2014 album by Jean-Pierre Martino, released 2013. Placed online with the permission of the artist.
The Cameroon National Anthem in Mambila
Sua bo veh a Somie 2016 un film de DJ Ireno The dance of women's sua in Somie village Cameroon in 2016 La dance danse des femmes au Somie, Cameroun
The UNESCO Universal
Declaration on Archives
now in Mambila
Online appendices to
‘The Rhetoric of Kinship: ‘Doing kinship’ – some Mambila cases’. Forthcoming 2021. In Rhetoric in Social Relations, 98-115 edited by J. Abbink and Shauna LaTosky. Oxford: Berghahn Books.
2006-2009 Documentation of endangered languages and cultures in the Nigeria-Cameroon borderland
A Kent Anthropology MSc in Ethnobotany, 2009 "Sharing Knowledge Intra-cultural variation of ethnobotanical knowledge and the factors that pattern it in a Mambila community in the Cameroon-Nigeria borderland"
I have been undertaking research with several Cameroonian Studio Photographers (some covering Mambila villages but others in the Bamiléké area)
photographic studio in Mbouda, West Province (now Region)
The work of Samuel Finlak and Joseph Chila
Exhibition of of Samuel Finlak and Joseph Chila
Long List for the Samuel Finlak and Joseph Chila show
Some examples of how negatives are cropped from prints and negatives from the collection of Yaya Moctar from Mayo Darle
|Chapter One: Introduction||3|
|Chapter Two: Reconstructing Kinship: The Pragmatics of Kin Talk||13|
|Chapter Three: The Implicatures of Everyday Life: Mambila Social Deixis||39|
|Chapter Four: Asking about People, Not about Kin Terms||57|
|Chapter Five: Translation, Anthropology, Kinship||85|
|Chapter Six: The Ethnography of a Mambila Conversation||103|
|Chapter Seven: A Conversation in Somie||115|
|Chapter Eight: Person Referring Expressions in Natural Conversation||155|
|Chapter Nine: Summing up Kin Talk||183|
|Chapter Ten: Conclusions||207|
Data on Mambila can be found at the following locations:
Academia Verlag, Postfach 1663
D-53734 Sankt Augustin
Reviews of this book may be found in the following sources:
Full text of a monograph on Yamba religion: "Affliction and Moral Order: Conversations
in Yambaland" by Hermann Gufler MHM First published 2003
in the CSAC Monographs Series, CSAC, Uninversity of Kent, UK
Other work on Yamba is listed in the Yamba online bibliography
Video by Samuel Finlak, photographer based in Atta:
View here or download from the following link
Intronisation de Chef du Village de Saah S.M. Mbebon Adamou. 7th Jan 2017 on Vimeo.
Camera Samuel Photo
Send Email to David Zeitlyn
Published in 2014, a book written by David Zeitlyn and Roger
Excursions in Realist Anthropology. A Merological Approach
ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6403-9 ISBN-10: 1-4438-6403-X
A sample chapter is online at http://www.cambridgescholars.com/excursions-in-realist-anthropology
Reviewed in JASO 2016 p120-123
Reviewed by Thorgeir Storesund Kolshus in Social Analysis 61 (3) 2017
Special issue of History and Anthropology on Archives and Futures
Bibliography of David Zeitlyn NB this is no longer updated. For recent publications see the Oxford webpage above
Professor of Social Anthropology (research) Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, 51 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE, UK
Created July 1995, last modified 2 Oct 2020