Mandara Mountains Homepage

This website is for all ethnographers who are interested in the study of the northern Mandara mountains of N. Cameroon and N.E. Nigeria which I call the northern Mandaras.

The inhabitants are today referred to by English speaking scholars as montagnards, a French word, which replaces the less acceptable term "hill dwellers".

Until the deadly terror by Boko Haram, they existed mainly through terrace farming, but many men also did seasonal work in towns or cultivated beans along the southern shores of Lake Chad.

The Northern Montagnards section informs on the history and life of the peoples of the northern Mandaras, with an emphasis on their mountain environment, ritual history and past material lives. Please visit the Mafa Bull Festival slideshow with English and French picture texts.

Mandaras Publishing gives access to print publications, including scholarly works and rare historical books for downloading. We further plan to host area-related oral historical source material and started with audio files for Dghwede speakers as addition to the print publication Azaghvana (2021).

The site contains a substantial bibliography of the ethnographic, linguistic, archaeological and geographical literature dealing with the peoples of the northern Mandaras, their history and environments. The site also carries a list of ethnic groups known to us so far. Each ethnonym listed is hyperlinked to a separate page giving a brief description of the ethnic group it is associated with. Please feel free to participate in the updating of the site.

New Publications

The Way of the Beer,

Expedition to Central Africa,
Petermann 1854