Peuple et Histoire Batoufam

 ”Le Kho” used for communication throughout the village.

Culture and tradition

The Batoufam society is very structured. There are 17 traditional societies for men, with four main objectives: (i) Rally the people (3), (ii) legislation [(3), the most important one being Pfousso that keeps Chief’s will, catch the new Chief and put him in the initiation compound – La’Kam],  (iii) assure village and Chief’s security (7) and, (iv) village army [used to be 7 groups, was reduced to 3, with the Medjong (infantry) being the group that fought wars, with a dance that is still very popular and fun to watch]. The women have four societies, among which the Ghui created for all the non Batoufam women of the village.

In the Batoufam culture a week has eight days, and for each day, specific events, functions, and meeting of some of the societies can take place; for example, “Ndze-Ndze” is the day for rest, during which no farm activities can take place. “Tossag” is the market day.

The Batoufam society is primarily animist, although many people have been converted to various religions. However each family has a sacred site, with plants of the Moracea family, “Tchang”, Ficus natalensis or Ficus verruculosa, where sacrifices are made to the gods of the family for protection and blessings on the compound. It is also the site where burn offerings (chickens, goats, etc) are made to the ancestors of the compound.

Many of the women traditional societies are characterized by their specific dances which are organized for occasions such as birth, marriages, and funerals, or even during national days such independence day. With the men, the war dance, “Medjong” is very entertaining and delightful to watch. But one that usually attracts more people and many tourists/visitors in the village is the ritual dance “Nzou” which is organized sporadically, when the new Chief has completed his 9 weeks of initiation and is coming out of “La’Kam, and proceeding with the organization of the funerals of the deceased Chief. For this occasion, the Chief will dance the Nzou along with his entourage. This ritual dance can also be organized by the Chief when the priests of the village have deemed it necessary to appease the gods and the ancestors so that they bless the village. 

His Majesty, Innocent Toukam Nayang invites you to a live tour of the village, to meet and know the Batoufam people, and learn more about their history, culture and tradition.

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