Myths and Controversies of the Origins of the Misaje People: Changing Trends in Socio-Economic and Cultural Heritage


  • Kimah Comfort Sjinkwe University of Bamenda
  • Canute Ngwa Department History and Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, The University of Bamenda, Cameroon


Controversies, Confrontations, Ethnic groups, Hausas, Misaje and Myth


The massive movement of people during the 19th century in the different parts of Cameroon including Misaje was propelled by many factors. These movements and settlements in the Misaje area were predominantly effected by four ethnic groups, namely: the Hausas who claimed to be the first settlers and the recent immigrants made up of the Nchaney, Bessah and the Dumbo ethnic groups. Prior to this movement, the indigenous Hausa group who had earlier settled in Misaje were already involved in varied socio-economic activities such as trade in kolanuts, palm products, slaves, ivory and salt especially during the long distance trade between the Bamenda Grassfields communities found within the contemporary Nigeria. In the meantime, their presence within the study locale created an avenue of alternating peace and confrontations with the Hausas who claimed to be the aborigines. However, the focus of this paper is to examine the myth, controversies and polemics surrounding the origins of the indigenous ethnic groups in Misaje. It equally examines the different contested claims and debates surrounding their history and how their presence have led to overt confrontations between the Hausa,  the supposed legitimate settlers on one hand, and the Bessah, Dumbo and Nchaney immigrants.  Furthermore, the paper also argues that the evolutionary trends in the socio-economic and cultural mores implanted by the aborigines (Hausas) emanated from the myths and controversies of origin. It further argues that in recent times, these ethnic groups have manifested claims of supremacy over Misaje. Therefore, gleaned from both primary and secondary sources, the paper reveals that, these conflicting claims of supremacy over Misaje have acted as a fertile ground for the emergence of misunderstanding among the settlers. Concomitantly, there is need for the government in collaboration with other stake holders to mitigate the resurgence of such conflicts and encourage paecefull coexistence.



How to Cite

Sjinkwe, K. C., & Ngwa, C. A. (2022). Myths and Controversies of the Origins of the Misaje People: Changing Trends in Socio-Economic and Cultural Heritage. JOURNAL OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES, 5(1), 91–112. Retrieved from