Douala people

The Duala (or Douala) are an ethnic group of Cameroon. They primarily inhabit the littoral region to the coast and form a portion of the Sawa, or Cameroonian coastal peoples. They have historically played a highly influential role in Cameroon due to their long contact with Europeans, high rate of education, and wealth gained over years as traders and land owners. The Duala are related to several ethnic groups (or tribes) in the Cameroon littoral, with whom they share a common traditional origin, and similar histories and cultures. These include the Ewodi, the Bodiman, the Pongo, the Bakole, the Bakweri (or Kwe), the Bamboko, the Isubu (Isuwu or Bimbians), the Limba (or Malimba), the Mungo, and the Wovea. The Batanga of the region of Kribi could be added to the preceding list as they claim they are descendants of Mbedi and they report some degree of mutual comprehension between their own language and malimba. Moreover the language of the Bakundu (also called oroko), although usually not classified as a duala language, seems to be closely related to bakweri (or mokpwe), which is clearly a duala language. Thus the Bakundu may also be considered as a duala people. The Duala have dominated the others historically, and these other groups all profess some sort of kinship to that people. In addition, many other coastal ethnic groups such as Balong, Bakossi… – who are culturally and historically more or less related to the Duala – are under Duala influence and most of these people speak Duala to some extent. Duala is also spoken by a great part of the Bassa and Bakoko people. The word “duala” may be used to refer to the Duala “proper” or to the whole set of duala-like tribes or even possibly to some “duala-ized” Bassa, Bakoko or Manenguba tribes.