Friday, April 10, 2009

The Chair Ceremony

Antoine was placed “in the chair”!

It seems dreams do come true! I had a dream since coming to Cameroun...wherein I was asked “Why are you here?” and my immediate response was “We came for your chair and we would like your blessing”.

Tuesday was the day when Antoine was placed “in the chair” in a traditional ceremony. I had the honor and privilege of photographing the event as you will see evidenced by the accompanying photos.

There is of course a little bit more to the story than just that. Mama’s maternal grandfather would always come to see her at the King’s palace as she was the daughter of the King. Before Christianity came to Cameroun, tradition demanded that the King had many wives and therefore many children from numerous families throughout the village. Mama’s father, Djoumessi Mathias was King and her mother’s father loved and adored her and would visit her at the Palace always bringing her gifts and money. The chair ceremony was her way of honoring the ancestors, in particular her grandfather, by giving back the abundance she was given as a young girl growing up. Antoine was “sat down” seven times in honor of all the other children of Mama Maffo Ngouala Lucie which coincides with each seven year term of the Presidency in Cameroun.

Today, this ceremony carries more meaning than just ancestral tradition. It is a sign of things coming...destined to be and no one can change the course of things when they have already been written.

Africa is a place rich in its history and culture. We are lucky that we still have among us those who remember first hand the traditions for honoring and blessing their families. This chair ceremony was indeed a blessing bestowed upon Antoine; one which honors him and his true destiny.

God Bless Cameroun. God Bless America. God Bless us all!

Anita Lynne NDEMMANU