Genius of Bassa language


The genius of the
Bassa language, the language spoken by the Bassa people of South Kamerun, who call themselves Mee (I Say), Bon ba Ngock (Children of the Rock), or Bon ba Mbog Liaa (Children of the Tradition of the Rock) is best evidenced in the word HILOLOMBI (The Supreme Being, The Most High). The word Hilolombi comprises three roots: 1) the article HI, 2) the verb ILOO (to surpass) and 3) the adjective NLOMBI (ancient), and means "The-Greatest-Because-The-Eldest".

The ability of the
Bassa language to say so many things in one word tells of the main aspect of the genius of the Bassa language. Only those who master this ability are said to be Bankwel-Nkwel, wordsmiths, masters of HOP U BASSA, the language of the Bassa people.

Hilolombi is masculine because of the article HI; feminine, it becomes KILOLOMBI. Actually in certain circles, as in the initiatic circles of Koo women, the Most High is Kilolombi, for, as Koo women teach, "If you are a woman, the Supreme Being is a She, a Woman, Mother". Neutro-essential (neutral and essential), the Supreme Being is N'LOLOMBI. A state, we have LILOLOMBI, as in LIBAK.

As a matter of fact, and course, the Supreme Being is neither male nor female. He is all that (male and female principles) and much more. He is L'ILOLOMBI, Divine Grandeur and Mercy.


The Judeo-Christian idea of God is of a revengeful Supreme Being quick to slaughter the enemies of Israel, the Jews, and also whoever does anything that displeases Him (like Onan dropping his seed on the ground); whereas the Islamic Allah is ar Rahman, ir Raheem, a Most Compassionate and Most Merciful God who always pardons those He favors. A Bassa person shall stick with the Bassa idea of the Creator: LILOLOMB (The-Greatest-Because-The-Eldest), for there is a reason why a people decides for one godly trait instead of another. Generally, this trait becomes a cultural characteristic, a feature to nurture in every member of that society. If the most important face in a village is the eldest Mbog-Mbog, it stems from the fact that the Creator is greatest because He is the eldest. To adopt someone else's idea of God is, for a MAN BUM, the greatest mistake.


[HI] HIYE IKETE NTET [(the thing) that which is inside a cage] becomes HIMUNTET; [NU] AYE IKETE NDAP [(the person) who is inside the house] becomes NUMUNDAP]. He who speaks this way is a true NKWEL_NKWEL (a wordsmith).

These specifics lead us to explore the nine parts of MPOT BASSA, the
Bassa discourse.


BIPES BISAAMBOG BI MPOT BASSA, the nine parts of the Bassa discourses follows:

I- BANGA (the verb) is the central element of MPAHLA (predicate, phrase, sentence), the Bassa enunciation. BANGA is a BUK (word) or NTON U BIBUK (class of words) expressing action, existence, occurence. They can be used as PAHLANA (copula or auxiliary). BANGA always begins with an i, as in ILOO (to surpass), IJE (to eat).

I Bibodol, Nkwaada. (In the beginning, Chaos.)
Yom i babe, (There was nothing)
Ndigi BANGA yole i ba. (Only the Verb was)
BANGA yole i ba, (The Verb was)
Mut-Binam a babe... (A human being was not)

2- Used to name a person, thing, place or action, JOL (name) and JOY (noun) are the second most important elements of MPAHLA. JOL and JOY always begin with a majuscule.
Example: Jol jem le Nuk (my name is Nuk); Joy li i Lon ini le Likoda li Minkok mi Amerika (This country's name is the United States of America).

Jol jem le Nuk (My name is Nuk)
I Hop u Kemhet, Nuk wee "Me ye" (In the Khemitic language, Nuk means "I am");
I Hop Bassa, "nuk" wee "hol!" (In the Bassa language, "nuk" means "prosper").

Another meaning for JOL is "nose". This explains that JOL (name) or JOY (noun) has the same centrality in a sentence as a nose on a face.

3) BABANGA (adverb) modifies BANGA (verb), or another BABANGA or a sentence. TO, TOHALA, TOMUT, TONJEEMUT are BIBABANGA. They begin with a lower case.
Example: TONJEEMUT A N'KOT HILUNG, A HONLAK UM NYOBE (Whoever plays the guitar must remember Um Nyobe).

4) It is LIKAS LI NKWEL (adjective, attribute) that qualifies or limits JOL or JOY. N'LAAM (beautiful, handsome), KILAMA (pretty, attractive) are MAKAS MA NKWEL.

5) SUBUK (article) specifies gender (HI, KI,), number [N' (N'KENI: big, grand), BA, BI, MA, MI are plurals (BATOLO: mice), BO [BOT (plural of MUT)]: people, MA (MALEP: water), MI (MINLEND: cries), and state [LI (LIBII: wedding, marriage), BI (BILOK: lineages)].

6) BIHENG BI BUK (pronoun) is a word assuming the quality of a name or noun. ME (I), MEMEDE, MEMEDE-MEDE (me, myself), WE (You), WEMEDE, WEMEDE-MEDE (you, yourself), A (he, she), I (it), NYE (he, she), BES (we), BESBOMEDE, BESBOMEDE-MEDE (ourselves), BO (they), BE (you), BEBOMEDE, BEBOMEDE-MEDE (yourselves), WEM (mine), WON (singular yours), WE (his, hers), IBES, BANAN (plural yours), BAP (theirs), are pronouns.
Example: BA BA BAA BA BA BO IBAA (They were wives of those two).

7) BUGA BUK (conjunction) is an uninflected word used to connect words and phrases. They may be IGWELGA (coordinating): NDI (but), NDILAA (but), HEE (where), NU (and), YAK (and, also) or BEMBEK (subordinating): IBALE (if), IBALEBO (if), INDEDA (when), INDEE (when), INYULE (because), NJOMLE (because).
Example: NDI KIBIXAT AYE HEE LEN? (But where is Kibixat?)

8) NJOKI BUK (Preposition) is a linguistic form that combines with a noun, or pronoun to form a phrase that typically has an adverbial, adjectival or substantial relation to some other word.
Example: The word LONNI (with) in the phrase MUT LONNI KOYOP SU "The man with a red face".

9) YAYI (Interjection) is every ejaculatory word of form of speech lacking grammatical connection with the word coming before or after it. EH, HOOKO, BAWELA, BAWEE are interjections.


The usefulness, use and users of this word, Mbog, and the activity it entails perhaps gives the best evidence of the genius of the Bassa language.

History, tradition, enunciation of history and tradition, are all the Mbog. The initiates of the Mbog are called Mbog-Mbog.

Mbog comes from the verb "ibog" (to gather, to put in an orderly manner). M'bog is the gatherer, the assembler, the one who puts things or a class of things in an orderly manner. The things we are talking about here can be anything from yams to books. The assembler does not need any training to perform this task. But the activity of the Mbog consists of putting the world in order, contening chaos, bringing people and multiple generations together under the protective wings of the Mbog. This requires a great deal of training, an initiation without which one wouldn't know how to perform this task, leading to the end of generations, and history.

If Nature is good to the people, if earth, woman, and grazing animals are fruitful, if no pregnancy ends without birth, if children are many, if illness does not arise, if food comes forth in abundance, if youth draws closer to the elders, if no misfortune stops the rain, it's because the Mbog is alive. It's also because effective, the Mbog-Mbog do their job well.

So how many words derive from the verb "ibog?" Many: 1) bog (assemble), 2) M'bog (assembler), 3) Nubog (the neutral one who assembles), 4) Kibog (the female who assembles), 5) M'bog-M'bog (he who knows how to assemble), 6) Mbog-Mbog (the initiate of the Mbog), 7) Hiboga (the assembling nest), 8) Hiboboga (a small way of assembling), 9) Libogok (one's way of assembling), 10) Libog (state of assembling).

As a result, in the Bassa language, every BUK (word) can turn into a BANGA (verb). It suffices to place an "i" in front of it, and you have a verb. And every verb can be turned into a derivative. Some words are known to have 12 15 derivatives. This exercise is called "INYO MALEP MA NKWEL" (literally, "to drink the water of good speech").



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