A vay kwa?
How night you?
Morning greeting

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Nic David
is, since 2002, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Calgary and has directed the Mandara Archaeological Project (MAP) in Cameroon and Nigeria from 1984 until the last fieldwork in 2008, since when the work of writing up materials and publishing them in various media including this website continues. He specializes in ethnoarchaeology and is the author, with Carol Kramer, of Ethnoarchaeology in action (Cambridge, 2001). He has authored several video programs, all now available on YouTube, and numerous articles on technology and society in the Mandara mountains. See his home page for further information.

Judy Sterner, a former Head of Liberal Studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design, is an adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Calgary. She has been a member of the MAP since its inception. The dissertation she wrote for her Ph.D.in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1998) is a regional study entitled The Ways of the Mandara Mountains. It was published in 2003.

After visiting Sukur in 1991 and obtaining permission from the then Hidi (chief), Nic and Judy, who are husband and wife besides being colleagues, returned to live in the village for seven months in 1992-93 and again for four months in 1996, revisiting Sukur briefly in 2004 and for several weeks in 2008. During these periods of fieldwork they collected a mass of ethnographic data on Sukur society and culture and obtained quantities of images, tapes, and video sequences.

Our assistants

During our stays in Sukur we were assisted by some remarkable assistants. In 1992, the late John Habga, a farmer born across a valley on Meldeng mountain and living in Gulak, assisted us on arrival. His good will, enthusiasm, knowledge of the wider region, and a perspective that combined the insider's and outsider's view of Sukur soon convinced us to hire him full time. John was also a marvellous story teller. We would have liked to have hired a woman assistant but found no one available with the requisite command of English. Philip Sukur is a child of the mountain who after his father had died had moved down onto the plains. Quiet and unassuming, he was the perfect go-between, especially between us and women. Like John he was also most conscientious, and at our request produced an extraordinarly detailed census of several of Sukur's wards.

In 1996 we were assisted by the late Isnga Sukur who was later trained in museology and took on responsibility for the Sukur museum. We also hired Markus Makarma, the son of the then recently appointed Sukur district head. He was then a student at the University of Yola but had returned to Sukur when the university closed as the result of a strike. He subsequently became a high school teacher in Madagali. You will see them on the left and right sides respectively of the sign advertising the museum at the start of the tour of Sukur.

All four gave of their best for us and for the project. We happily acknowledge that their contribution is indispensable to the construction of this website and to our other scholarly work relating to Sukur. Sadly, John died in 2004 and Isnga in 2007.

In 2004 and again in 2008 we were greatly assisted by Simon Waida, the official NCMM guide to Sukur.


Nic David and Judy Sterner

   Nic and Judy in Sukur costume at the send-off party organized for them by the village in March 1993 after seven months of fieldwork.







Assistants John Habga and Philip  Emmanuel Sukur in 1992.

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