Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 March 2005
The story of freedom fighter Jean Djonteu provides a new approach to the history of Union des populations du Cameroun (UPC) nationalism in the Grassfields and Mungo regions of Cameroon. Within the context of Baham, his village of origin, Djonteu's actions and tracts reveal his politico-spiritual reasons for joining the UPC militia in its revolutionary fight against Franco-Cameroonian state administration. UPC nationalism and village political culture formed a hybrid of political ideologies, or a ‘village nationalism’ articulating UPC anti-colonialism with Grassfields political concepts of nation and sovereignty that pre-dated European occupation. As this articulation disintegrated, Grassfields populations disengaged from state politics and turned inwards towards village political culture and spirituality rekindled by popular involvement in the UPC nationalist movement.