Cameroon: In the heart of the sacred forests of pure Bamileke heritage

Cameroon: In the heart of the sacred forests of pure Bamileke heritage

#In other countries : The Pamilek have become one with their traditions, allowing them to live in harmony with nature. If there is a cult of skulls, there are also sacred forests, special meeting places between people and their gods.

The Bamileke are one of the few people in Cameroon who still preserve the cultural heritage of their ancestors. They belong to the great Crossfields family located in the West-Cameroon region. They are especially found in the departments of Bamboutos, Haut-Nkam, Hauts-Plateaux, Koung-Khi, Menoua, Mifi and Ndé. They are a dynamic people who flirt with all the so-called traditional religions but stick to their ancestral traditions. Among these traditions is the raising of sacred groves.

The royal palaces of Bamileke were always associated with one or more wooded areas. This place usually houses the institutions necessary for the proper functioning of the kingdom. These are ritualistic places, places of initiation and traditional places of worship. Entry into sacred forests is prohibited. They are reserved for those in the pure heritage of the meadows. Any exploitation of the forest and wildlife resources found there is prohibited because, according to the guardians of the tradition, the spirits should not be disturbed in any way.

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Sacred forests are used, on the one hand, to bury princes, so to speak, sons of kings, and on the other hand, to commune with deities. According to the interpretations of a prominent member of the Banco leadership, humans visit the ancestors through spells skillfully orchestrated by experienced people. These elders are responsible for interceding with God so that a particular problem of the concerned leader finds an adequate solution.

It could be questions about reproduction, kingdom growth or leadership, or protecting people from an endemic disease. From what has been seen and heard in some villages in the West-Cameroon region, it seems that the practices carried out in these forests are not told for fear of incurring the wrath of the ancestors.

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