Funeral Traditions in Cameroon

by K-Berens

A small village on the bank of the Sangha River in Cameroon. Graveyards are almost non-existent as families tend to bury their dead close to their homes so they can watch over them.

In a country that welcomes freedom of religion, Cameroon’s population is divided into significant religious groups. The largest religious group is Christian, making up roughly 70% of citizens identifying as belonging to a religion. However, Cameroon’s funerary rites have a personable feeling within each village in the country.

Instead of burying the deceased in a graveyard, most people choose to bury their loved ones close by them in order to watch over their body. The body is open for viewing, with a large funeral typically held outdoors that is open to everyone. Respects are paid to the chief of the village after the viewing.

The wake is a large party with ceremonial drums, food and wine. The funeral may consist of songs sung in the Douala language and a eulogy by the chief of the village. The body is then buried in the chosen plot of land.

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