African Tribes: The Musgum

Figure 1.-- The Musgum are an ethnic group in Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria. This photo was pribanly taken in a northern Cameroonian village. We can see the characteristic cone-shaped dwellings made of earth and grass. The photo is undated, but was possibly taken in the 1950s, but it could have been taken centuries earlier without great differences.

The Musgum or Mulwi are a relatively small ethnic group in west-central Africa (Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria). We note estimates of about 150,000 members They are primarily located in Cameroon with a smaller populatiom in Chad. The Musgum call themselves Mulwi. They are descendant of Sao people who were the first known population group around the Lake Chad. The Musgum are best known fot their distinctive earth and grass cone-shaped dwellings. The Musgum are Afro-Asiatic in origin, displaced the Paleo-Sudanese at the present territory along with other Neo-Sudanese groups. They were a warrior people. Conlicts developed whn the Fulani people tried to encrosch on their territory, attemting to compel the Musgum to adopt Islam. That war ended in the the victory of Musgum. Islamazation proceeded through other methods. Musgum people are also known for 'Laba' or Labana, which is a traditional warrior rite. Many young Musgum aspire to military careers.


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Created: 2:34 AM 1/14/2019
Last updated: 2:34 AM 1/14/2019