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Abong-Mbang

From Academic Kids

de:Abong-Mbang Abong-Mbang (pronounced "a-buhng bong") is a town located in the East Province of The Republic of Cameroon in central Africa. As of 2004, the town has an estimated 15,000 inhabitants.

Abong-Mbang is located on National Route 10, the main road leading from Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, to Bertoua, the capital of the East Province. The town is between three-and-a-half to six hours from Yaoundé and between two-and-a-half to six hours from Bertoua by bush taxi. Abong-Mbang itself is the capital of the Haut-Nyong division.

Demographics

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East_-_Abong-Mbang_-_Bantu_Dwelling.jpg
Typical Bantu dwelling in Abong-Mbang

The main ethnic group of Abong-Mbang is the Maka tribe, a Bantu people who speak a language called Maka. Due to the town's location on the main route through the province, there are also sizable populations of Fulani, Beti-Pahuin, and Bamileke. The town is also home to a handful of missionaries, NGO workers, and volunteers.

Most of the inhabitants are Christian, with a fairly even split between Catholics and Protestants. There is also a sizeable population of Muslims.

Geography

Abong Mbang is located on relatively flat terrain, though there are some hills. The town is near the Dja River, and several streams flow through the area. The land is fairly swampy and covered in dense forest.

History

According to Maka and Baka pygmy oral tradition, the area that would become Abong-Mbang was settled when the Maka-Njem peoples moved northwest from the region of the Congo River. They encountered the Baka hunter-gatherers and requested their aid as guides through the region. Some Kwassio set in the vicinity, which they called "Bung-Ngwang" ("bathing area in the Nyong River").

When Europeans arrived in the 19th century, this name was changed to the present Abong-Mbang. The Germans were the first colonizers to inhabit the area (the colony of Kamerun came into being in 1884) . Much of the town's present infrastructure dates from this period. The French took over in 1919, utilizing the area's native peoples to work vast coffee plantations. After francophone Cameroon's independence in 1960, Abong-Mbang became an important center of commerce for the East Province. Due to its location at the crossroads of the major route into the province and the road south to Lomié, most logging and bush meat traffic passes through the town.

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