Monday, March 25, 2013

Spraying Money On Asamba Dancers In The Cameroons

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is part of a continuing series on this blog about the custom of spraying money.

This post showcases a video of an Asamba dance group in the Cameroons, West Africa and a video of an Asamba dance group from the Cameroons but in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA). While there are other interesting aspects of these performance, the focus of this post is on the custom of persons attending the event spraying money on the dancers.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic reasons.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Note: "Spraying money" is a Nigerian term for the cultural practice of showering (placing, throwing) money on or toward the head of a bride and a groom and/or other persons at an event.

I think that the custom of spraying money in the Cameroons originated in Nigeria, but I'm not sure about that. I also don't know whether that custom is called "spraying money" in the Cameroons. Nor do I know how common this cultural practice is among people from the Cameroons. Any information about spraying money in the Cameroons would be appreciated. For instance, is this spraying money done at weddings and birthdays in the Cameroons as it is in many regions of Nigeria?

Also, I would appreciate any information about the Asamba dance.
I've attempted but haven't been successful in finding any information online about the Asamba dance.

For instance, is the term "Asamba" a source word for the Brazilian "samba" music & dance? I'm aware that words that are spelled the same or similarly don't necessarily have the same origin or meaning. However, it's interesting that there is no mention of the word "asamba" in this Wikipedia article that identifies a few words from African languages that might be the source of the Brazilian word "samba" (for the Samba music/dance): Of course, there need not have been any similarities between how the Brazilian Samba music/dance and the Asamba music/dance were performed or are now performed for the word "asamba" to have been one of the root words or "the" root word for the word "samba". However, I wonder if there has been any comparison of the Cameroonian Asamba music with the historical and present day Brazilian Samba music and dance.

FEATURED VIDEO - Asamba Dance, Mile 7- Alamatu, Mankon, Cameroon

Lorolose, Uploaded on Jul 29, 2010

The top performance during the golden jubilee celebrations of the 20th Fo of Mankon, HRH Fo S.A.N. Angwafo III. This is the asamba dance, led by Tse Louis Angwafo with the younger sister, Aliah,on the big drum. The governor of the north west region of Cameroon makes a speech at the ceremony.
The custom of money spraying are found at various parts of video (for example starting at 3:28 in this video)
Unfortunately, there are only a few comments on this video's viewer comment thread. Here's one of those comments:

musicaddicted001, 2012
"Words do not describe the myriad of emotions, after watching this, I am not Mankon, but of Bassa and  bayangi parents, and PROUD of Cameroon, the name mini Africa is well deserved, the richness of culture is stupendous. Tse Louis Angwafo I take my hat of to you. IMPRESSIVE, every action in perfectly in time with music. I wish there was more with an explanation of the significance of the Asamba. More please ..."
Here's some information about Mankon, Cameroon from
"Mankon is a geo-historic community constituting a large part of Bamenda in Cameroon, formed as an amalgamation of about five different ethnic groups. The Mankon fondom (kingdom) represents one of the oldest monarchies of the grassfield people of the Northwest Province. The fondom is ruled by a 'fon' (king) with rights to kinghood acquired by birth. The crowned fon is usually a designated son of the deceased king, a child who was born only during his reign...

The most convenient time to visit the Mankon fondom is during the December and New Year periods when the kingdom has its annual dance, during which the people celebrate and also have the rare occasion of mixing with the fon. Festivities may last a week and it is a great time for cultural display. Such festivities give the Mankon people the opportunity to savor the varied rhythms of African music and to meet expert drummers and musicians of the kingdom."

Example #2 - Mankon Asamba Dance Group of Minnesota USA

nebaambe,Published on Jul 26, 2012

The Asamba Dance Group is not just another tribal dance group. It is ASAMBA DANCE GROUP. What this means is that you enjoy them the most by letting them play their own music to your ears and dazzle your eyes with their dance. That is what they are all about, that is what they work hard to do.
An example of someone "spraying money" on the head of members of this dance company begins at 5:51 in this video.

To date, there are no comments to this post except for my comment alerting the publisher that I've embedded this video & asking for more information about Asamba dance.
Click for a YouTube video from the Cameroons that is entitled "Shisong 2002 - Samba". The word "Samba" here may be the same as the word "Asamba" in this post's featured video.

Also, click for a video of the Mankon (Cameroon) Bottle Dance. At 1:17 is a man who has a $10 bill on his forehead.

Click for a pancocojams blog post about spraying money.

click for a YouTube video entitled "The Fon's Dance from Tabenken, Cameroon".

Also, for another non-Nigerian example of spraying money, click for a video of a dancer being money sprayed at a Liberian wedding.

Also click the "spraying money" tag for other pancocojams posts on this subject.

Congratulations to this dance group for taking the top spot in this event. Thanks also to publisher of this video on YouTube.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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