(Polish title: Garnek zelazny i garnek gliniany, czyli spoleczenstwo plemienne w zderzeniu ze spoleczenstwem narodowym i globalnym. Przypadek Kamerunu). The article deals with the transformations of the tribal society, its structures and tribal mentality in African post-colonial states, shown from the perspective of Cameroon, where the author conducted field studies for a few years. The author discusses the relations between the state and the tribe and between the new elites and the people who continue to live in the tribal community. The strategy aimed at the marginalisation of tribes pursued by the elites of post-colonial states was met with defence and adaptation reactions, which helped to retain many elements of the tribal tradition in the new national order. At the same time representatives of tribal communities discovered new possibilities of involvement, resorting to the ideological discourse and developmental solutions offered by the external world, especially by different global institutions.
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