The changing 'life' of the buffalo/cow horns and new methods of adaptation by carvers/patrons in the grassfields, Cameroon

SOURCE: African Studies
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.A.Fubah
KEYWORDS: CAMEROON, RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS, YOUTH
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8404
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/2207

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Abstract

The appropriation and adoption of aesthetics that retain close relation to the past is one notable reason for the survival of the drinking horn and its associated rituals in the Grassfields. Not only are foreign aesthetics such as images of Bruce Lee and flower design depicted on cow horns to associate the horns with the notion of the wilderness, typical of Grassfields carvings, but it is claimed that without the representation of aspects of the wilderness on drinking horns, the production and exchange of the drinking horn would certainly cease to exist. In other words, the survival of traditional ways and means of producing and exchanging the drinking horn in the Grassfields is a result of the continuous appropriation and adoption of foreign aesthetics that are faithful to the ancestral values of the region. Drawing on research on the drinking horn, this article examines the processes involved in the production and exchange of the drinking horn in present-day Grassfields society. The article shows that the appropriation and adoption of foreign aesthetics that retain close relation with the past is indeed one of the main reasons for the survival of the drinking horn, and by extension religious rituals associated with the horn.