The title of the study is Likoda Li-Mbog. We examine the events of power and authority relations and the various ways in which they articulate an overarching epistemology and world-view. Specifically, the problem area relates to aspects of social control which arise from the grip of a world-view on a people’s behaviour. The term “likoda li-mbog,” translated as the “assembling of people” designates a crystallisation of a constellation of events which arise from the world-view we have named, constituting the essence of social control among the Basaa people as to constitute the primal mechanism of integration of the entire social system of a people.
The study is in five chapters. In Chapter One we give a restatement of the title and consider a number of concepts of topical interest as would sharpen the statement of the problem of this study, namely, a study of processes out of which social order results and the relevance of the system of values and norms in these processes. In Chapter Two we relate the origin and recent history of the Basaa people as are purported to be dispersed on the surface of the earth. Our submission in this section draws from works in oral history and the submissions of chroniclers. Under the subtitle “Review of the literature,” in Chapter Three we consider excursions on social structure in classical sociology literature as a prelude to specifics on the world-view of the Basaa people related to pattern in social life in general, and to political behaviour in particular. In this chapter we also state our methodological approach in terms of the kind of research we opted to do and in terms of the tools we used to assemble and analyse data on the political organisation of the Basaa people. In the tradition in which we write [Schutzian phenomenology], the social scientist is enjoined to analyse social structures in terms wholly dependent on interpretative criteria, involving understanding of the meanings which social relationships have for those who engage in them. In Chapter Four we describe the social organisation of the Basaa people. We started with what we term “the basic atoms of social life,” to ultimately consider the Basaa system of kinship. As a conception of mbog [the world-view of the Basaa people], kinship grips all interpersonal relationships and relations that obtain among the people. As in many other ethnic systems, among the Basaa people of our study, kinship and political organisation intertwine. In Chapter Five we do a systematic analysis of specifically political entities among the Basaa people. The main issues we considered in this chapter are the basis of political power and the personality of the mbombog [the sage among the Basaa]. We named the various political categories among the people, sectors in the machinery of interest aggregation and decision making, the processes on the way to decision making per se.
In anticipation of the query as to what our findings are, we submit that our modus operandi were not as would lead us to such specific events. We have restricted ourselves to merely showing pattern in the socio-political organisation of the Basaa people as it relates to mythology/ideation, history and intercourse with peoples in the various neighbourhoods and environments of their experience.