The Mvele tribe is one amongst the many tribes of the Beti ethnic group. The other tribes include Ewondo, Ntumu, Bulu, and Manguissa. All these tribes almost have the same costumes and rites as the all have the same descendants called Nanga, but there certain things which one can distinguish one tribe from the other. They first lived together until when they were pushed at the banks of the river Sanaga when running away from Islam. When they reached the river sanaga, there were now to cross and while crossing some people could not and were left on the other side of the River. The Mvele who succeeded to cross the river are now found in the Centre and South region of Cameroon precisely in the Ntui, Esse and Awae subdivisions.
These people are mostly food foragers and horticulturalist. They depend on hunting and mainly on agriculture. Here, farming is reserved mainly for women although men work on farms when it comes to difficult tasks. The main food crops cultivated in this area are cassava, maize, yams and coco yams and it is done using traditional tools like hoes, machetes and knives. Plantation agriculture is also carried out in the area as well as the cultivation of cocoa and coffee. They use to sell some when there are in excess or when they are in need of money.
The tribe is a decentralized one. At the lowest level we have the family, after which we have the group followed by the village and lastly, the tribe. Before the arrival of the Germans, there was no particular person appointed to rule the people. Each family had someone at the head usually the father and a patriarch was delegated to solve problems involving the tribe as a whole. But when they were colonized, Charles Atangana was appointed to rule the people. Charles later appointed his brother to continue ruling the people. Later on, the Germans decided to make the people rule themselves and from this moment, traditional chiefs ruled the people. When someone is found guilty of something, the person is being punished depending on the degree of the crime. It can either be an intermediate or extreme punishment.
These people are tie to their tradition explaining while they rejected the missionaries the first time. It is true that the region is now Christianized but it doesn’t exclude the fact that they continue practicing their important rites and customs.