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NOTES 1. Introduction 1. See Gubry (1996) for a study of reruralization as a function of Cameroon’s economic crisis. 2. Often in Western parlance the term “ancestral” connotes hoary roots going back thousands of years. I have at times placed this term in quotation marks to signal the Tupuri use of this word which can simply mean “of our fathers and grandfathers,” either with or without the hoary connotations. In any case, after Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983), the ancientness of any tradition is understood to be historically constructed and strategically remembered. 3. African performance is generally multimodal: that is, it may involve music, verbal art, dance, and visual imagery simultaneously (Thompson 1974; Finnegan 1970). However, for the sake of brevity, I will use the term “song” at times to designate all aspects of its performance. 4. Others might use the term “moral economy.” 5. In her examination of discursive practices in Xavante (Amazonian) men’s council meetings, Laura Graham shows how specialized speech performances “effectively detach individuals from the content of their speech” (1993, 717). She asserts that this “collective production of multiple voices” such that the individual identity of speakers is obscured differs fundamentally from the Habermasian notion of public consensus emerging from “individually ratiocinating speakers” (718). She shows that collective political discourse in a public sphere can take forms other than the rational-critical debate that Habermas valorized. 6. Work focusing on verbal arts includes Abu-Lughod 1986; Barber 1991; Coplan 1994; Feld 1990; Furniss and Gunner 1995; Hofmeyr 1993; White 2000. Analyses of dance and ritual performance have been equally influential for me, including Cohen 1993; Cowan 1990; Drewal 1992; Glassman 1995; Heath 1994; Kratz 1993; Mendoza 2000; and Ranger 1975. 7. Repercussions were felt later in the 1990s when many bilateral and international nongovernmental organizations (including USAID and Save the Children) pulled out of Cameroon because of lack of confidence in the state’s management ability and its handling of the 1992 presidential elections. 8. Before his election to a fifth term in October 2004, Biya had held the presidency for twenty-two years. The new term was for seven years. Political abuses attributed to the regime are documented in reports by the U.S. Department of State, Transparency International , and Amnesty International. Cameroon has been described as a “partial democracy .” 9. So named for its shape on the map of Cameroon, which is said to resemble a chicken or duck. 10. Such as Moundang, Massa, Kéra, and Pévé. When they are asked where the Tupuri came from, educated elites often say they are from the Sara in southern Chad and even from southern Sudan. Although there is no firm evidence for this, a cursory glance at Northern-Central African dance and cattle-centered associations suggests that there may well be affinities. 11. The other Tupuri moiety, the Gwa, inhabit the southern Chadian region (Ganhou and Mindaoré) and have ritual practices that distinguish them from the Dore. Igor de Garine finds evidence in their exogamous taboos with the Viri (of Wina) that they may be of 204 Notes to pages 13–20 Massa or Moussey origin (Garine 1981, 180). In my study, the categories of Dore and Gwa were sometimes used to describe different locations of gurna song composition (Zouaye versus Dawa) and different tempos in drumming. After much questioning, I concluded that the distinction between Dore and Gwa was not particularly significant in gurna practice . 12. Cameroon was annexed in 1884 by Germany. After World War I, when Germany lost its colonies, Cameroon was placed under the League of Nations (and later the UN) mandate and divided into West and East Cameroons, administered by the British and French, respectively. (Tupuriland lies in the Francophone region.) Practically speaking, France administered East Cameroon as part of its Central African colonies, but because of the UN mandate, Cameroonian men could not be drafted; they could only be recruited into the military. 13. Amadou Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon after Independence in 1960, was closely aligned with the French. 14. Famines are given proper names in a way similar to the naming of hurricanes in the Atlantic. Beswe and Nõore (honey) were two colonial era famines. (I was told that the Honey Famine was so named for a sticky substance secreted by insects that attacked sorghum weakened by drought.) 15. The song material for this study was collected in Cameroon from 1997 to 1999 and is noted in the bibliography. 16. Strictly speaking, there...


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