According to Lavergne, the Mafa are split into two tribal sections, being the ‘Mafa proper’ (referred to as Maf-Mafa or ‘Mafahai’), and the ‘Bulahai’. The Mafas live in the central part of the Northern Mandaras, which is a region formed by the North area of the Mokolo Plateau and the mountains of northern Mokolo. The Mafa society is divided into several cantons: Moskota; Koza; Gaboua (Koza district); and Matakam-Sud (Mokolo arrondissement). There are also about 1,000 Mafa in Kughum, Gwoza, Nigeria. Total population estimates vary between 82,100 and 150,000. Hallaire indicates that population density in the area is between 99 and 140 inhabitants per square kilometer.
It is understood that the Mahayana migrated from Roua and Sulede (which is west of Durum (Mofu proper)), towards the northwest. The Bulahay, meanwhile, migrated to the west, alongside the southern borders of the present Mafa territory. Eventually they also migrated northwards where they mixed with the Mafahay, becoming the present Mafa.
The Mafa belong to the Chadic language grouping. They speak the Mafa language. The population is 83.00% Muslim and 7% Christian. The Christian population is composed of Catholics (60%) and Protestants (30%).
- Lavergne, G., ‘Le pays et la population Matakam’, Bulletin de la Société d’Edudes Camerounaises 7, September 1944:7-73.
- Boulet, J., ‘Les groupes humains’, Le nord du Cameroun, des hommes, une region, Collection Memoires 102, (ed) Jean Boutrais, ORSTOM, Paris 1984:119
- Muller-Kosack, G., Cry for Death. Mandaras Publishing (www.mandaras.info). London, 1999 (4p)
- Hallaire, A., Paysans montagnards du Nord-Cameroun, Les monts Mandara, ORSTOM Editions, Collection, Paris 1991 26 Fig 5
- Bulahay Groups
- Mafa - The Mandara Mountains Homepage. Retrieved June 03, 2013, to 16: 31 pm.
- The Joshua project. Retrieved June 03, 2013, to 16: 56 pm.