The Mbando was created by our ancestors a long time ago as a place where the villagers or designated elders could come to call unto "The gods" for guidance and support in times of crises such as: famine, war, diseases and unexplained deaths, and even in joyous occasions such as the "wesuwa"(wrestling), the "male"(elelphant dance) "the liwangi la fako (mountain race). It is generally located in a strategic area of the village, but does not neccessarily look like a shrine, thus one may pass by and not even notice.
In Buea Town For instance, the Mbando which serves its environs as well, is located at the "yombomba tree" (not sure of its name in English) in "Wonya-emongo", just south of the wrestling field.
This is a very simple explanation intended to create awareness regarding the significance of the Mbando. Mola Mbua Ndoko, should be able to fill in any gaps.
It is no doubt FECA Minnesota has always used the Mbando song to grace the occasion on the cultural night of the FA Convention.
Evonda ya Kowa-a-a (In the days of Old)
Wa tate na wa Iye wa ma we e-e- (our mothers and fathers)
Si wa Gbea eh mbando (created the Mbando)
Eh nge mbando nd'emongea e-e-kome y'a-ase (it is the Mbando protected the entire clan)
E-e vonda Njuma, N'evonda maloko eh! (in times of war, and during festivities)
Wambaki na w'asali e-e- w'asangane eh! (the elders and even the children came together)
Si wa somelele, si wa kane, si wa wele Lowa la welimo (they poured libations and they prayed, and called unto the Gods of our ancestors)
Welimo! welimo e-e- yongwane wato w'anyu (our ancestors please help thy chidren)
E mbando eh! eh Mbando eh ! Eh mbando Eh! Eh Mbando Lio! lio! lio! lio!
THE LIBATION SONG
E vonda wa Tate wa kowa wa ma we (In the days of our fore-fathers)
Wa somelele te wa wowa ndi maliwa (they poured the libation using water)
Si wa welel na Tat'iwonde O mwanyu (they called unto God most high)
Si wa wele na welimo O monye (And called unto our ancestors here below)
Suwele suwelele na Lowa O mwanyu (Peace unto God most high)
Suwelele le na welimo O monye (peace to our ancestors here below)
In both instances, "welimo" refers to our ancestors, not the evil one.