VILLAGES AND CULTURES


ETHNIC GROUPS, CULTURES AND LANGUAGES

Nearly the entire population, with the exception of the pygmies, belongs to the Bantus. More than seventy million individuals belong to this denomination that extends throughout Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.

Despite the great ethnic and cultural variety that share the territory and contrary to what unfortunately occurs in other countries of Africa, nowadays in Equatorial Guinea, the cultural differences coexist with each other in complete peace, with no ethnic problems or confrontations.

 

Ethnic groups and cultures

Fangs. They form the most numerous ethnic group in population. Traditionally, they are structured in relatively autonomous families, clans and tribes. Descendancy is transmitted by the men, hence the importance of the father, of the uncle and of the first born son. Their wooden sculptures, their masks and the Fang ritual statues are appreciated the world over. 

Bubis. They are found on the island of Bioko and are Bantus belonging to the “civilization of the ñame”. Their society is structured in the form of a kingdom that was maintained until the end of the colonial period. Their original religion was monotheist and music, dance and their traditional singing was inspired by religious ceremonies that are still deeply rooted. 

Pygmies. In Equatorial Guinea they are called Beyeles and Bokuigns. They live in small groups and are dedicated to hunting and to the collection of roots and wild berries.

Ndowes. They are a minority, formed by numerous ethnic groups: the Kombe, the Bujeba, the Bapuka, the Balenke, the Enviko and the Benga. Their social organization is through a hierarchy of families, villages, lineages and clans.  

Bisios. Originally from Cameroon, they are not very numerous and emigrated in the 19th century towards the regions near the coast of the Continental Region, down the river Ntem.

Fernandinos and creoles. The middle class of land owners and merchants, who lived a long time in the capital and were mixed descendants of workers that settled throughout the centuries on the plantations of the island of Bioko. 

Annobonese.They live on the island of Annobon and are a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and African descendants of slaves. They are traditionally fishermen, since agriculture is scarce on the island due to its volcanic soil. They use canoes known as cayucos or dugouts, made of ceiba wood. Most of them speak the Fá d'Ambó dialect, which is Portuguese Creole mixed with Spanish.  

Languages and dialects

Spanish is the official administrative language and that of education. French is the second official languages and nearly all the ethnic groups speak the languages referred to as Bantu.