The Lyrical Lithographic Imprints Of Nature,

And It’s Contrapuntal Punctuations With Rock Outcrops…

Within this tranquil, ethereal and dreamscape like spaces, far removed from the technological worlds of concretised and precipitated idea-realities⁠ with their intrusive industrial noises; here the creative flux and streams of creation have figuratively, over aeons and aeons patiently scribbled life’s evolutionary intentions in extruding and sculpting biological forms and structures everywhere.
Exuberant and oftentimes amorphous morphologies are expressed in extraordinarily shaped geological formations, whose appearances have an uncanny power to shift or alter the mind’s three dimensional conceptualisation of spaces and distances. Nature has equally extruded and moulded biological forms that mimic and reflect not only the ochre colour of the soil, but that of the different colour schematics of the environment. Beautiful rock outcrops, volcanic plugs with needle like endings seemingly sprout out of the Earth’s bowels. Mesmerising contrapuntal rock outcrops sprout and unfold into jagged shaped mountain ranges, as if in a musical and poetic gesture to break and mitigate what may seem to the ordinary eyes as a monotony of identical unrelenting forms and structures populating the environment.
Rock hummocks and hills rise and interlaced with seemingly discordant looking metamorphic rock lens beds that knot and plait themselves randomly into and out of gently unfolding granite or basaltic ridges. The lyrical like contours intimating of their fiery birthing. These rock formations flow seamlessly to give way to spectacular meditative looking valleys.

Here, we are immersed within the scapes and environment of the Semi Sahel & Savannah regions of sub Sahara Africa. These regions within this part of the African continent are sandwiched between the Equator and the Sahel, with some areas situated about several full moon walking distances away from the Equator. Here are the homelands of the Bata, Fali, Fata, Gemjek, Guidar, Giziga, Hurza, Kapsiki, Mada, Mafa, Massa, Matakam, Mofou, Mora, Mousgoum, Muyang, Ouldeme, Podoko, Toupouri people, the Vame and Zulgo.⁠

The primeval and pristine nature of their environment reflects directly how far humanity has walked away from its organic roots and the original universal grounds of creation.
In the industrialised worlds, the human mind has been able to use elements of the earth to map itself into extended technological realities which it uses to pulverised nature globally to establish itself, whereas here amongst the Mandara mountain folks, the human mind has integrated and incorporated elements and phenomenologies of the material and immaterial worlds to structure, orientate and define its own societal arrangements in elaborate belief systems and practices.

We are here within the spaces of embedded and living mythologies. Where even the movement of a termite colony, or the sudden appearance of the jaglavak ⁠3or even a Gecko can immediately prompt and initiate elaborate ontological rites and rituals. We are amongst folks where conceptual and linear time around which the industrial world functions are mere symbolic approximations useful just for remote officialdom in distant capital cities, where the Indo-Germanic languages and the roman alphabet (which has proliferated worldwide, spreading conditioning belief systems and ideas), is of little practical usage for many local folks. We are in the land of the Mofou, Mora, Mousgoum, Muyang, Ouldeme, Podoko and the Toupouri people, where evocative petroglyphs⁠ retell histories, immigration, movement and biographies of the people and places in carefully inscribed rock art symbols.

Spider and crab divinations are still in usage in navigating, negotiating and executing the business of daily life. Amongst these folks, the organic outlook and ways of living are reflected directly in their multipurpose architectural structures principled on geometric fractals and modeled on their cosmological insights into the universes. A people whose outlook and attitude are shaped according to their anatomical knowledge systems of the human body and psychologies of the mind and the environment.

We are in the heartland of the Mofou, whose organic ways of living with the land is as ancient as the Rhumsiki ⁠rock outcrop and those enigmatic spontaneous rock outburst which are amorphously proportioned and staggered across the land, their cylindrical cones with tapering tops and stoic morphologies, appearing as rhythmic lithographic imprints recently minted from the bowels of creation.

Top Image: Rhumsiki peak, North Cameroon | krishna Naudin | https://flic.kr/p/FAzt5a 

About The Author

Tanka Fonta

Author & composer, visual artist & performer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, researcher & independent scholar.

Stories, Histories & People