Tag Archives: culture

How to become a “Makocok”

Prior to the influence of Christianity in Ron-Kulere country, which began in the 1930s, there existed hierarchically structured cult associations. Among the Ron, only males were allowed to take part in the rituals. Women were not allowed to see the masqueraders associated with it. At a certain age, boys were initiated into the lowest rank. In order to become a member (makocok) and ascend into higher ranks of the associations one had to feast their members. The following text by Mr. Mafulul Lek explains how this was done and some other traditions associated with the kocok. Continue reading

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How the traditional rulers lost their power

Here is another story by Mafulul Lek in which he deals with the Ron traditional religion (Nyorong). Nyorong is the name of a grass mask worn by a person who thus represents the traditional religious authority. In former times, this authority was highly feared. The following story tells another case of a person who challenged that authority.

At the end of the story, Mafulul Lek provides a list of all the traditional rulers and modern district heads of Daffo until 1990. Check whether you know any of their names!

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Everyone should be treated alike

In the past, in Ron country, law and customs were maintained by the kocok, a religiously sanctioned caste of elders. The head of that caste was called “Saf ma Nyorong“. The following story by Mafulul Lek tells how a man who was  a makocok himself challenged their authority. Continue reading

In memoriam Barbara Frank

Dr. Barbara Frank (Private photo)

Dr. Barbara Frank was one of the few people worldwide doing research on the culture and history of the Ron and Kulere people. She was born  in Goßfelden near Marburg in 1936 and died in Marburg  in 2004. This year, she would have been 75 years old. She died too early. May her soul rest in peace! Continue reading

How to court a girl in the ancient Ron culture

benjamin_matawal.jpgThe following text in the Bokkos dialect of Ron was written down by Mr. Benjamin Dapel Matawal (seen here on a picture together with his family) in 1999. It is a description of the traditional customs surrounding courtship and marriage among the Ron.

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Some information on Ron

The Ron language is spoken by about 115,000 people mostly in Bokkos Local Government in Plateau State, Nigeria. It is bordered by Kulere and the Mushere dialect of Mwaghavul in the south and southwest, Sha and Mundat in the west, Birom in the north and Mwaghavul in the east. The Ron people are also called “Chala” by their neighbours (“cala” being their most common greeting). Continue reading