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This name later was applied to the coastal area between Mount Cameroon and Rio Muni.
Cameroon has distinct regional cultural, religious, and political traditions as well as ethnic variety.
The English-speaking region is divided into two cultural regions.
The Grassfields peoples of the Northwest Province consist of nearly one hundred chiefdoms each ruled by a divine king (fon) .
The name of the country derives from the term used for the Wouri River by Portuguese explorers.
Reaching the Cameroon coast near the modern port city of Douala around 1472, those explorers named the river Rio dos Camaroes ("River of Prawns") after the variety of crayfish they found there.
The division of the country into British- and French-ruled League of Nations mandates after World War I created Anglophone and Francophone regions.
The French-speaking region consists of the remaining eight provinces, where French is the lingua franca, the French school system is used, and the legal system is based on the statutory law of continental Europe. Tension between the two regions increased after the introduction of a multiparty political system in the 1990s.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.The social organization and culture of the Grassfielders are closely related to those of the French-speaking Bamiléké peoples of the Western province.
Like the Bamiléké, Grassfielders often are in opposition to the central government.The peoples of the Southwest province had less hierarchical systems of governance and social organization.