Rehe: The Blacksmiths of Mogode

Filmmaker:  Gamache Thomas Kodji

Year of production: 2009
Location: Cameroon
Duration:
Sound: mono
Language: French
English Subtitles

Among the Kapsiki a mountain dweller ethnic group in Far North Cameroon, blacksmiths (rehe) perform many trades and crafts calling for specialization as music, divination, magic, medicine, pottery, leatherwork, funeral, forging iron and casting brass. All these trades are crucial for the clans and the whole village connecting to the social division of labor.

The main focus of this film is the death, the three days of performance of the blacksmiths during the burial ceremony. It is about how they organize and make the weeping less dramatic and unfortunate for the bereaved family with their special burial music but also how they take care of the body from the time the man dies until they bring him to the cemetery, ending by the traditional surgery that they made before the burial. In brief this film is about the traditional conception of burial among the Kapsiki.

Copyright: 2009  Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø

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Thesis

ABSTRACT

This is an essay on the dynamics of the evolution of the Kapsiki blacksmiths group of Mogode. Among the Kapsiki, blacksmiths perform many trades and crafts calling for specialization as funeral, music, divination, magic and medicine, pottery, leatherwork, forging iron and casting brass crucial for people’s life. But their position in the society is characterized by a big paradox between them and the others. They are perceived as a low stratum treated and considered by being dirty, dangerous and impure. The main concern of this essay is the investigation into this paradoxical position of the blacksmiths(rehe)and the power circulation among the Kapsiki.
 

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