Commemorative meal (Repas d’oubli)

Filmmaker: Tchoupno Ndjidda

Year of production: 2019
Location: Mayo-Kani, Far North Cameroon
Duration:  29 minutes
Sound: mono
Language: Moundang
English Subtitles

The Oblivion Meal is an ethnographic film that attempts to relate the cultural eating practices of Negro-African peoples. It is part of the framework of food anthropology which, today remains the substance of man because we represent ourselves through culture and symbolism. The idea of ​​the film is to show how funeral food practices have retained a prominent place among the Moundang in Going-Lara (Far North Cameroon). Sobda, patriarch in this village and main actor of the film brings us back to life this story between tradition, meal and religion in the village of Going de Lara (Mayo-Kani). The funeral meal of “yie wulli” (mourning death or funeral) is a ritual that is organized in memory of the deceased. It’s also an opportunity to say goodbye, goodbye. To do this, the home of the deceased is dislocated; the stones are removed from the hearth so that the spirit of the deceased cannot haunt the living and rest in peace. The nӑah syin (folleré), a special dish is prepared for this occasion. This culinary practice is symbolic and abounds in several meanings according to the community. This aims to relate the symbolism, the memory, the emotion through the meal. This film captures the originality and authenticity of Moundang culture, but also raises the problem of religious syncretism that religion is not totally detached from tradition, but rather is the fulfillment of tradition.

Copyright: 2020  Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø

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