The life of Cameroon Pygmy

In spite the level of civilization in Cameroon, there are still communities in Cameroon like the Baka pygmies in the south region who still maintain their primitive lifestyle. They depend almost entirely on the forest for their livelihood. They get food, medication, and housing from the forest and use leaves and branches of trees to make their little huts. The Baka people have a very small stature of about 1.5 meters. Scientist have proven that, due to lack of proper exposure to sunlight and because of the thick rain forest in which they leave, they tend to lack vitamin D which could help a lot in their growth.

The pygmies of the west region have their deity who they worship as their god known as the “jengi” (goddess of the forest). They believe she is the mother of the forest and any occurrence such as lose of a community member or a good catch during hunting, is believed to be the handiwork of “jengi”. The Baka organise a yearly festival every dry season during which, they carryout fishing and honey harvesting. During this festival, those who have come of age are initiated into the jengi society. In early times, the jengi festival was held only when an elephant was killed, but today any animal can be used.

What makes the life style of Cameroonian pygmies amazing is the fact that, they are immune to many illnesses common to the average Cameroonian, and the older they get the stronger they become.

The primitive things they still practice today include;

1) The use of stone to light a fire place like the early man did.

2) The use of leaves to cover their nakedness.

3) The use of leaves and sticks to build their little huts

4) The use of big stones in the forest as kitchen utensils.

5) They are living solely on forest plants and wild animals.

In Cameroon, pygmies live a scheduled life, they do not interact much with other communities. They rather live a communal life (internal and external family). But when they have guest in their community, they are most welcoming.

But this community and culture is being threaten as civilization of the art of wearing cloths have entered their community as some of them have started putting on clothes to cover themselves.

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