JUARKE: Boys made men in Mboum society

Filmmaker:  Mohamadou Saliou

Year of production: 2010
Location: Cameroon
Duration: 52 minutes
Sound: mono
Language: French
English Subtitles

The Mboum people have practiced male circumcision for decades. Until the middle of the last century, male circumcision was highly regarded as a period of initiation leading to a man’s status. Every year, children were sent to the bush and during their seclusion, cultural codes and knowledge of the community  are given to them.

Nowadays, this mode of knowledge communication has phased out. Therefore, very often, there are conflicts of generation  between  the older and younger generations especially those who were born and raised far from thier community.

By following a group of five children during their period of initiation, I show in this film how circumcision is practiced in this community. In spite of social changes and external pressures (urbanisation, modernity, HIV issues, etc), the effort and the will are there to make stable a social order resulting from this practice

Copyright: 2010 Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø

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