Facing Scarcity in a Land Grab Context in Cameroon

Residential Multilocality and Sorcery as Resilience Schemes among Rural Communities

  • Hugues Morell Meliki University of Yaounde
Keywords: scarcity, residential multilocality, resources, resiliency, sorcery


This paper undertakes a critical exploration of the mechanisms via which communities cope with scarcity resulting from land grabs. It explores two ranges of practices – residential multilocality and sorcery – through the lens of resilience. Residential multilocality appears as a novel living arrangement dealing with resource scarcity, while sorcery is used as a tool for bolstering a policy of resource regeneration. Thus, instead of rushing to nearby cities as a response to scarcity, the communities observed reinstate two silenced dynamics. Firstly, they underscore the rise of inter, and intra-rural mobility entrenched in the paradigm of residential multilocality. The paradigm embodies a scarcity management strategy in the sense that the abundance of vital resources in one rural area attracts villagers from other communities struggling with scarcity. Secondly, sorcery is used as a strategy to command eco-friendly behavior of villagers in order to successfully achieve a resource regeneration policy.

Author Biography

Hugues Morell Meliki, University of Yaounde

Hugues Morell Meliki is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon. As a member of the Laboratoire camerounais d’études et de recherches sur les sociétés contemporaines (CERESC), his work focuses on rural sociology (landgrab, new forms of peasant production, peasant movements, rural development, residential multilocality), urban sociology (urban agriculture, urban land production, youth cultures) and economic sociology (youth and money, youth in business, youth trajectories of entrepreneurship accomplishment).

How to Cite
Meliki, Hugues Morell. 2021. “Facing Scarcity in a Land Grab Context in Cameroon : Residential Multilocality and Sorcery As Resilience Schemes Among Rural Communities”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 26 (June):153-71. https://doi.org/10.36950/tsantsa.2021.26.7170.