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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.Most of these chiefdoms have patrilineal or dual descent kinship systems, although some groups, such as the Kom, are matrilineal.Polygyny and fertility are important cultural values, although this varies by wealth and education.Since the jihad led by an Islamic cleric in 1804, the northern region has been culturally dominated by the Fulani.
The Center and South are culturally dominated by the Beti peoples, which include the Ewondo, Eton, and Bulu, and are linguistically and culturally related to the Fang of Gabon.The Littoral province is in the coastal rain forest region in the southwest.It includes the largest city, the port of Douala, and the industrial, hydroelectric, and bauxite mining area near Edea. The southern part of the French-speaking area includes the high plateau region of the West province, which includes the Bamiléké and Bamoun peoples. The Bamiléké constitute roughly 25 percent of the population.They are patrilineal, grow root crops and peanuts for their own consumption, and grow cocoa as a cash crop. The current president is Bulu, and many prominent authors are Beti.Peoples in the East include the Maka and Gbaya, both with relatively egalitarian forms of social organization in which reciprocity is a key value.
This name later was applied to the coastal area between Mount Cameroon and Rio Muni.