BAKA (Pygmies, southern CAMEROON



IndexAfricaCameroon → Baka


Featured: (Nso’, Beti / Eton, Maka, Etap, Pangwe / Fan, Baifa / Banen, Fali, Mouktélé, Bangwa, Bali, Baka

Studying singing and dancing performances called be, Bundo (2001:p90, 91-2)[1] notes that during Zaiko dance,


“Boys often perform erotic motions when giving a dancing turn to women and girls. If a boy dances well, the atmosphere becomes excited, and the boy is given a cheer, Mokose (You are a man)! The boy and young men shake hands with each other at times”.


“In kpalam [another dance], young naked boys dance toward women with erotic motions. First, women gather and start singing. When their chorus becomes loud and lively, the naked boys appear. In the beginning, they run to and fro. Then, they flaunt their hips or penis and approach women (Fig. 5, 6). Sometimes they imitate motions of sexual intercourse in front of the women. When approached, the girls sometimes mockingly strike and repel the boys, but often they run away or into a house, laughing and screaming joyfully. Adolescent girls seem to take a great pleasure in the young boys’ performances. They sing livelier and clap their hands to cheer the boys. The older boys, who stop performing kpalam as they grow up, are also jubilant and watch the performances. When I asked them why they did not perform kpalam, they answered that “Awa nganga le kobo (Because we are elders).” Thus kpalam is a performance only by little boys, who learn how to excite the atmosphere through their erotic motions directed at women”.


Children play “house” (no sexological connotations offered)[2].










Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Bundo, D. (2001) Social Relationship Embodied In Singing And Dancing Performances Among The Baka, African Study Monographs, Suppl. 26:85-101 []

[2]Kamei, N. (2002) How the Baka children of Cameroon Play. Paper presented to The Ninth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (Session 32: Recent Research on Forager Children), Edinburgh Conference Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, 9th - 13th September 2002 []