Culture & traditions
Gabon, Bantou land
The Gabonese culture draws its wealth from the diversification of its founding peoples, the hunter and stone-cutters, the Neolithic people, the people from the age of iron and to a less degree the Pygmies all of them came to populate the Gabonese land. The pygmies separated themselves from the Homo sapiens there are 70,000 years in order to live in symbiosis in the deep forests.
Around 3000 BP appeared the first people of the Neolithic stage. These populations introduced polished tools, the first forms of agriculture, the exploitation of oil palm.
Elaeis guineensis and ceramics. Unlike the hunter-pickers, which they probably lived with for some time, they lived sedentary just the time it could take to complete a harvest.
All the languages of Gabon belong to the Bantu linguistic group which extends from southern Cameroon to South Africa. The current Gabon has fifty ethnic groups including Fang (32%), the Mpongwe (15%), the Mbedé (14%), the Punu (12%).
The Gabonese art is known for its masks that belong first and foremost to initiatory societies.
They both embody the spirits of ancestors and the genius who ro some extent participate in the life of the village. The Gabonese art is a religious art firmly rooted in the social structures of each tribe, the mask or the statue is not a sacred object by itself. It is the support of a force that can be expressed by other means, for example, the music, singing, dancing; The sculpted image therefore is a symbol and a message.
Gabon’s dances are a reflection of the diversity of different peoples and rituals that enliven the Gabonese folklore. They are closely related to the different rites, mainly the Bwiti. Both ritual and playful, the dances of Gabon convey the close link between the sacred and the real world.
Half way between the material and the immaterial, the sound vibration is the agent essential to the communication of the men among themselves, but also participation in the cosmogonic life, beyond the barriers of the sensible world. Primary language, or super language, musical expression, taken from the cry that expresses emotion encompassing the intelligible language of the words that it precedes.
It is, therefore, the support of the oral Tradition which it guarantees the shape and the conservation beyond writing and without it.