Images of disappeared, or nearly disappeared, African tradition

Massa "Gourouna"

Once upon a time there were two rich men, both chiefs of important clans. One of them had many children, but all of them died at early age. The second had beautiful and healthy children. When the first, seeing that there was only one child left, he told to his son: "Go with your uncle the herdsman, you are my last son and I consider you as "dead". Some year after, the son had grown having only the milk from cows, just herding cattle without doing any job else. Milk made him big, strong and handsome.
During certain periods of the year, youths from the Massa, in North Cameroon, spend eight months in the grazing fields to have milk from cows. They name it "Gourou", and the youth following the milk diet is named "Gourouna". "Gourou" brings prestige to the youth who has undergone it. Most of "Gourouna" youths go about in the nude, as they are proud of their physical prosperity. There are organized festivals, always with numerous audience, where the "Gourouna" youths dance, sing and wrestle.


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