The Bandjoun museum
Permanent exhibition
The land and the men
Myths, legends and history
Kingdom and society
Secret societies and religions
Bandjoun yesterday, today and tomorrow
Itineraries of the collective memory

Secret societies and religions

Great preservers of works of art with a ritual character, the societies mkem, which are secret to a greater or lesser degree (only some are genuinely secret) represent the skeleton of all the social structures of Bandjoun.

It is through them that the hierarchical titles are distributed. They are of a great variety and each association has its meeting house, its masks, its costumes, its dances and its symbols.

Dance of the kwosi society

The secret societies mkem can be classified according to their functions (political, military, religious, administrative etc), the periods of their foundation, their meeting places (the large customary societies whose base is located in the capital tsa as opposed to the numerous societies in the quarters as opposed to the numerous societies in the quarters, the sub-chefferies, the powerful lineages for example), especially according to social stratification (the mkem of the descendants of the fo, the mkem of the retainers or the common notables, the mkem of the ordinary inhabitants).

Masks, receptacles, musical instruments, costumes, adornments, statues, emblems and various objects are used by the members of the mkem during rites, ceremonies and dances as part of their multiple activities.


Organised reconstruction of wearing the mask known as “ batcham” of the msop society with the appropriate mask.


In Bandjoun, artistic creation is subject to rules and a code on which one of the foundations is religion, which intervenes in this domain in several ways. In addition, rituals and prayers are essential for the production, implementation and exhibition of certain ritual objects. Despite the introduction of Christianity which is in great expansion, the vast majority of the Bandjoun worship countless divinities that protect the country, the places, lineages and clans and even individuals, whilst believing in a supreme being Si which cannot be represented in any image.

Members of the kemdje society    

The cult of the dead and in particular of the ancestors is the foundation of the autochthonous religion.

Countless legends exist on divination, curses ndo’, on the command and manipulation of (a dynamic and widespread transcendental power and magic) and witchcraft. These beliefs give rise to rites using specific material which includes in particular various cultural and artistic objects.

    Member of the nyeleng society


Pagne de danse en tissu ndop (kamdze)

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