Hartford Loves Poetry Finale
Category : Miscellaneous
Ashuntantang is hoping that her work will help preserve disappearing Manyu crafts like the asoreh—and she also wants to use her poetry to help preserve Kenyang, one of the disappearing ethnic languages of Cameroon. While the official languages of Cameroon are English and French, the country has more than 200 ethnic languages, many of which are dying as those who know them pass away.
During the “Hartford Loves Poetry” festival in April, Ashuntantang read two poems that she wrote in Kenyang.
“I want to give back to the language. I want people to soak in the language, enjoy the words, enjoy the rhythm, feel it,” Ashuntantang said. “Language is a repository of the culture. If we lose that, we lose the culture as well.”
See video of Ashuntantang reading poems in Kenyang at the “Hartford Loves Poetry” festival in April. (The readings start about four minutes into the video.)
Cover picture: Ashuntantang displays Manyu crafts in front of a now rarely used mud kitchen in Ashum Village, Cameroon. The crafts belong to Abraham Ashusong, custodian of Manyu artifacts and folklore. The child with Ashuntantang is Ashusong's grandson. Photo by Tabi Zama of TGIM Cine School.
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