top of page

Western Region

The Western Region is one of the ten regions of Cameroon. It is the cradle of the Bamiléké and Bamoun ethnic groups. The region consists of 8 departments and had more than 1,982,100 inhabitants in 2013. Its density, 124 inhabitants per km² in 2005, makes it one of the most densely populated regions of Cameroon, almost on par with the region of the Littoral.

Its main cities are Bafoussam (capital), Mbouda, Bandjoun, Dschang, Bangangté, Foumban, Bafang, Baham, Bamena.

The relief , mountainous with many plateaus and plains, made of the West is one of the most pleasant regions of Cameroon with varied landscapes between rolling hills and mountains interspersed with rivers and monumental falls. It offers the most exceptional natural sites.

Its clima ty is equatorial of Cameroonian type, the temperatures oscillate in 15 ° C and 30 ° C degrees according to two main seasons: a dry season which goes from October-November to March-April, and a rainy season which begins in March -April until October-November.

The Bamileke people

Some claim that the Bamileke are descendants of the baladis who left Egypt in the 9th century AD. They arrived in the Tikar region around the middle of the 12th century before dividing around 1360 on the death of their last sole sovereign, King Ndeh. For a reason still unknown until today, the crown prince YENDE refused the throne and crossed the Noun to found Bafoussam. His sister, meanwhile, will go to the Banso region (“English-speaking” region of the country in the North West).

Two decades later, YENDE's younger brother, NCHARE will in turn descend into the Noun plain to found the country of Bamoun.

From Bafoussam, almost all the other Bamileke groups were born between the 15th century and the 20th century. Later, other crown princes accompanied by their family will form their own clan, branching out over the centuries while each developing their own language from the basic one: Bamiléké whose 5 main language versions are:

  • Ghom'a-lah (Grande Mifi)

  • Medumba (Le Nde)

  • The Yemba (Menoua)

  • Ngombaa (Bamboutos)

  • Le Féfé (Haut-Nkam)

From a spiritual point of view, The Bamilekes are of great complexity. The whole of their traditional religious organization is made up of initiation practices, meditations and rituals.

Their organization is linked to their environment. The Bamileke highlands of West Cameroon are known for their hedged countryside. In this topographic context of stepped high plateaus, characterized by a succession of hills dominated by a few isolated mountains that can exceed 2,000 m above sea level, the exploitation of the soil is based on a judicious association of agriculture and animal husbandry. small cattle. The useful space, support for settlement and activities is understood through the distances and travel times between social and / or production places (place of residence, traditional institutions, chiefdom, etc.). These social places from which the life of local communities is organized are themselves differentiated in relation to their topographic position: either on the top (all high parts whether on a hill or on a mountain) or down (depressions , valleys, downstream parts of the slopes). This dipolar concept of space prevailed during the occupation of the region and the division of space into traditional chiefdoms (one hundred chiefdoms over approximately 6,000 km2). Within the various chiefdoms, the traditional administrative division into districts relied heavily on the notions of high and low. The same was true for the establishment of family housing units, for the construction and extension of hedgerows and for the landscaping of the space.

Map of the Region

bottom of page