- Date de réalisation : 14 Avril 2015
- Durée du programme : 9 min
- Classification Dewey : Culture et normes de comportement - Anthropologie sociale et culturelle, Environnement
- Auteur(s) : Duda Romain
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Baka chronicle, April 2015, Messok district, Cameroon : a collect of wild honey
Camera, sound, editing : Romain Duda
Film editing assistance : Alain Epelboin (CNRS-MNHN)
Messok district, East Cameroon, april 2015
The honey harvesting is 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 by the bee tòngyà (Apis mellifera) is particularly appreciated but implies reaching a nest located, most of the time, several meters high in the tree.
This film details the techniques employed in a domain of ecological knowledge locally developed by the Baka. The swarm is located and identified thanks to the humming specific to each species (Apis mellifera, stingless bees meliponines). At the foot of the tree, embers are first produced to feed a bee smoker (yànji) made out of a bundle of sticks stuffed into leaves. A single-use basket (pèndi) is designed to lower the honey combs to the ground. The climber makes a climbing belt (yèndà) with a solid liana allowing him to lean against the trunk while he cuts footholes with his axe (kopa) as he ascends. On the ground, women and children discuss about the events of the previous day.
That day, despite the propitiatory remedies, harvesting is poorer than expected. The bees were busy around a swarm unreachable to the climber, the honeycombs have fallen inside a tree hallow. He goes down with just enough honey to satisfy the children. The remainder is wrapped with leaves and brought to the village, as the symbolic share destined for elders.