Der Weg der Bünde. Transethnische Forschung im Cross-River-Gebiet
Afrika Spectrum 39.2004:427-448

##Trans-ethnical research in the Cross River area, Nigeria
In recent years, ethnographic studies based on a centre-periphery model or on one ethnic group have largely been replaced by studies on the mobility of people, things, ideas, institutions etc. Multilocal research also calls for an elaboration of research methods. This paper presents some methodological implications of a research project which aimed at reconstructing the specific histories of the dissemination of associations in the Cross River region of Cameroon and Nigeria. The owners of the associations regard the latter as their intellectual property and trade them to interested parties. In this way, associations spread widely and some of them have created new (imagined) communities among owners of the same association. The landscape of associations represents the synthesis of local histories. The study´s starting point was not specific localities but the associations and the dissemination process under the control of their owners. A comparison of the data collected in the localities under study points to a relation between a community´s economic and political situation and its capacity to remember its history.##

Keywords: associations, secret societies, research methods, dissemination history, intellectual property, development, remembrance, identity