Bulu love poem
Azu doué ene eyet
Ene abeng bibouk biding biam
Bo'o avol a dim
Ene eding asulan dam!
→ French poem ←
Short love poem of the French poet Richard Bellon, translated into Bulu (Boulou, Yengono, Zaman, Bene, Yelinda, Yembana), an African beti Bantu language of Cameroon.
There are 1 million Pahouins (Pamues) in Central Africa, especially in the South and Central Cameroon, practicing Bulu essentially as a second language.
It is especially in the cities of Ebolowa and Sangmelima that one will find those who express themselves in Bulu, a Bantu language, even if some of its features are not Bantu.
This language Niger Congo subfamily Benoue Congo has some variations, also with differences in accents. There are four main ones (north, west, south, east). It is the latter that of the east (of Sangmelima), which is considered the standard.
We can also distinguish differences between this standard and the bulu spoken by the ancients, the literati and the younger more archaic or literary variants, and modern (less pure and marked with imported words).
Originally it is believed that the Boulous come from Nubia in the Adamaoqa, where they would have fled the Arab invasions. On their way they will of course collidfe with the local populations. Later they fought against the German colonizers.
The word boulou is a term designating the action of "making". The Boulou people have always been a people in action.
The Bulus and the Fangs have an ancient oral poetic tradition, the mvet. The mvet with a background of music and dance is a way for them to transmit and at the same time preserve their past. The mvet tells both their ancestors and the stories of their people, all this being real or imaginary.
Art in Cameroon
As for Cameroon: its oldest inhabitants would be the Saos. The country, especially in the Grasslands region, still has a high level of artistic production.
The sculpture on wood is very abundant, and is manifested by masks, statues, seats, beds and receptacles for domestic use. In the south of Cameroon one finds pirogues carved in clear way and decorated with polychrome animal and human figures.