Baka chronicle, April 2015, Messok district, Cameroon : a collect of wild honey

Réalisation : 14 avril 2015 Mise en ligne : 14 avril 2015
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Camera, sound, editing: Romain Duda

Film editingassistance : Alain Epelboin (CNRS-MNHN)

Messok district, East Cameroon, april 2015

The honey harvestingis one of the highly valued activities for the Baka of southeastern Cameroon.Among a dozen of variety of wild honey, the one called pòki, produced bythe bee tòngyà (Apis mellifera) is particularly appreciated butimplies reaching a nest located, most of the time, several meters high in thetree.

This film details thetechniques employed in a domain of ecological knowledge locally developed bythe Baka. The swarm is located and identified thanks to the humming specific toeach species (Apis mellifera,stingless bees meliponines). At the foot of the tree, embers are first producedto feed a bee smoker (yànji) made out of a bundle of sticks stuffed intoleaves. A single-use basket (pèndi) is designed to lower the honey combsto the ground. The climber makes a climbing belt (yèndà) with a solidliana allowing him to lean against the trunk while he cuts footholes with hisaxe (kopa) as he ascends. On the ground, women and children discussabout the events of the previous day.

That day, despite thepropitiatory remedies, harvesting is poorer than expected. The bees were busyaround a swarm unreachable to the climber, the honeycombs have fallen inside atree hallow. He goes down with just enough honey to satisfy the children. Theremainder is wrapped with leaves and brought to the village, as the symbolicshare destined for elders.

Beyond productivity: The socio-cultural role of fishing among the Baka of southeastern Cameroon

La place de la pêche dans les sociétés forestières a souvent été occultée derrière le terme de « chasseurs-cueilleurs ». Alors qu'il est d'usage de reconnaître la chasse comme une activité majeure

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