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In the French-speaking area, the largely Muslim north is culturally distinct from the largely Christian and animist south.
The northern area includes three provinces: Adamoua, North, and Extreme North.
However, ethnic distinctiveness remains, and ethnic identity became an increasingly important source of social capital during the 1990s. Cameroon is situated by the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa.
Its area is 179,527 square miles (465,000 square kilometers).
The peoples of the Southwest province include the Bakweri, who live along the slopes of Mount Cameroon.
The Bakweri practice rites of healing and initiation in associations of spirit mediums that distinguish between male and female roles and between village and bush.
The name of the country derives from the term used for the Wouri River by Portuguese explorers.
Polygyny and fertility are important cultural values, although this varies by wealth and education.
Forestry and tobacco farming are important sources of income.
The East province is also home to the Baka, a tropical forest forager (pygmy) group of about thirty thousand to forty thousand living in small camps that exchange forest products with nearby farmers.
In rich volcanic soils they grow food crops and coffee.
The population is dense, and the Bamiléké served as a labor reserve population in the twentieth century, resulting in large, entrepreneurial urban émigré population.