In ancient times ritual dances by Kirdi women were performed after harvest, in the beginning of the dry season. They were meant to honor the land, the ancestors, but also the women who had taken care of the land, from seed to harvest. The symbolic meaning of those dances, named Matakam, bill hook in hand, was to celebrate ever-renewed fertility and the harvests to come, as demonstrated also by the sizzling and crackling of the seeds in little baskets attached to their legs. This tradition stems from the mountainous regions of Cameroon.
Kirdi’s billhook and a ceremony in progress.