The Tikar are a group of related ethnic groups in Cameroon. They live primarily in the northwestern part of the country, in the Northwest Province near the Nigerian border. They speak Bantoid language, also called Tikar. Their population is approximately 25,000.
The Tikar have elements of matrilineal and patrilineal descent. Their folk belief states that during pregnancy the blood that the woman would normally release during menstruation forms parts of the fetus. This blood is said to form the skin, blood, flesh and most of the organs. The bones, brain, heart and teeth are believed to be formed from the father's sperm. In the case of a son the masculinity also comes from this. The Tikar are also noted as mask-makers.
They share their language with the Bedzan pygmies.
On the 2006 PBS television program African American Lives, the noted African American musician Quincy Jones had his DNA tested; the test showed him to be of Tikar descent. In the PBS television program Finding Your Roots, African American former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice learned she shared maternal heritage with the Tikar.
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