Tikar people

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Tikar family.jpg
A Tikar family in Northwest Region, Cameroon
Total population
Tikar language
Islam, Traditional African religions, Evangelicalism[2]
Related ethnic groups
Bamum people and Bafia people

The Tikar are a Northern Bantoid ethnic group native to Cameroon

There is no single ethnic group called the Tikar but some tribes especially the Bamum people and the Bafia people are directly related to them, also some people claim to be their descendants like American slave who believe to be their descendants and other living on the Tikar Plain in Adamawa Region. They speak a Bantoid language called Tikar. Their population is approximately 25,000. The Bedzan pygmies (who also live on the Tikar Plain) share their language. The main Tikar towns are Bankim, Ngambe Tikar, and Magba.

Location of the Tikar in Cameroon

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.[3] In the case of a son, the masculinity also comes from this. The Tikar are also noted as mask-makers.

Debatable scholarship tries to question the broader use of the name Tikar to identify many villages and towns in North West, West, and Centre regions. It is wrongly asserted that the connection to Tikar is invoked by the royal families. Many royal families originated in courageous leadership or free choice of a person by the migrating group. But the customs guiding the people are undoubtedly Tikar. Languages are harder to pin down but traditional dances, burial rites, and marriage customs reflect a continuity across these many groups. The Nso, Bafut, Kom, Wum, Weh, Kuk, Esu, Zhoa, and many others in the North West region are Tikar groups. There are similarities and stark differences in their languages but these cannot rule out their common origin. The Bamileke are an interesting case of the politicization of the Tikar identity. It was politically expedient for colonial France and the later pro-France governments to isolate the Bamileke and otherize them. It is, therefore, often said that the Bamileke are not Tikar.

On the 2006 PBS television program African American Lives, the musician Quincy Jones had his DNA tested; the test showed him to be of Tikar descent. In the PBS television program Finding Your Roots, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice learned she shared maternal heritage with the Tikar. Producer/Musician Flying Lotus is also descended from the Tikar.[4] {{Bias|date=July 2021}

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/15486/CM
  2. ^ https://www.peoplegroups.org/Explore/groupdetails.aspx?peid=12793
  3. ^ "descent/graphics - Page 1". Lucy.ukc.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  4. ^ "Video: Flying Lotus Learns About His African Roots". Complex. February 5, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2018.

External links[edit]