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Monday, July 25, 2011

Cameroonian Tradition "Born House"

Baby in the arms of an elderly lady.

Baby Passed around for viewing

Palm oil and salt, shared to guests while singing songs for Love, peace and prosperity in the Baby's family.

Singing and dancing

Baby reunites with mother

Baby and mother, happily ever after

Do you have any clue what your tradition is? What is tradition anyway? There could be a thousand definitions, one of them i picked up on the internet said: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)

I have been inspired by a recent event i attended called in one of my local languages (pidgin English) "Born House". Simply put, this is an event where, when a woman has a baby, she invites well wishers, friends and relatives to come and see the child.

What is most interesting about this is the origins of the event. The tradition here, is that, when a baby is born, the umbilical cord is buried under a plantain sucker, when this tree grows and bears fruit, you now harvest the plantain and invite all these people to come and eat as prove that your baby is growing well and is very fruitful.

The baby is first passed around for everyone to place a hand as a sign of blessing, and to have a close look at the baby. Then salt and oil is passed around for every one to have a taste while wishing, love, peace and prosperity to the baby's family. There after, there will be singing and dancing in jubilation of the child's life, in thanksgiving for the child's parents and in hope for an outstanding future.

The well prepared pot of plantain is then shared to everyone present, every single person present must taste of the food as a sign of a prosperous life for the baby.

Most of the talking is done by elderly women of the family with experience in child birth.

If you know of a similar tradition, please share with us.

1 comment:

  1. Tradition indeed..I guess there are slight variations/additions!I attended one a year ago... The water from the baby's bath was used to bless other women trying to have a child!!Very interesting especially because the mother in this case is over 40!!Nice post KK....