Introduction to the Bakweri
The Bakweri people occupy the South-eastern slopes of mount Cameroon( Fako ). Buea is one of their settlements lying at about 3,000 feet, in a a relatively densely populated belt of the mountain. The Bakweri are Bantu in language and origin. More narrowly, they fall into the Sawa, or the coastal peoples of Cameroon
Bakweri were divided into the urban and rural areas. Those who lived in the central business districts like Limbe, Buea, Tiko and Muyuka were involved in skilled and unskilled professions. The rural Bakweri on the contrary worked as farmers, making use of mount Cameroon’s fertile volcanic soil to cultivate crops like cocoyam, maize, oil palm and plantains.
Traditional Bakweri society was divided into three strata. At the top were the native Bakweri with full rights of land ownership. The next consisted either non-Bakweri descendants of slaves and the last group were the slaves. The chiefs and headmen were at the top of this hierarchy in the past even though in recent times the figures have very little power in their own right as important issues are no decided by the committees and no longer secret societies and council of elders.
The Bakweri tribal group which was believed to have diverse origin like many other ethnic groups was attached to the Bantu family and had a decentralized society. Here we shall examine the family unit as a societal and political base, then the village council and the role of the chief further more we shall focus on the social and the economic organizations of this people.