Mambila tribe – a tribe of dangerous cannibals

The formidable Mambila tribe, living in West Africa on the border of Cameroon and Nigeria, actively practiced cannibalism until the middle of the last century, following terrible rituals and customs.

However, visiting tourists of this nationality are strictly prohibited by local authorities, who cannot control cannibalism and guarantee their complete safety. Although some daredevils still decide to visit the tribe, visiting them secretly.

Cannibalism of Mambila tribe

Cannibalism of Mambila tribe
Cannibalism of Mambila tribe

More recently, the Mambila were a warlike tribe that regularly clashed with their neighbors and their tribesmen. Cut into pieces, the bodies of defeated enemies were eaten raw on the battlefield without any ceremony. So with the blood of the slain, his strength and skills passed to the winner.

Moreover, the wife’s relatives from a neighboring village could also become victims. The warriors took the remaining parts of the human flesh with the entrails to the children and elders. The female had no right to eat this meat, especially being in position, and men, in turn, were forbidden to eat the meat of women. Only bachelors and old people could eat their flesh without restrictions.

The latter also became food when they reached weakness. A specially invited person killed them. The head was mummified and kept as an amulet, designed to protect the family and help with wise advice.

An important place in the tribe was given to the skulls of enemies. Before the first battle, young men always drank a special drink from such a skull in order to endow themselves with strength and courage. To get the latest stories, install our app here

Now cannibalism is banned by the Nigerian authorities. Fearful of punishment, the tribe has scaled back the tradition and diversified their diet with dogs and cattle raised for food.

Customs and Suaga mask

Mambila leads a sedentary lifestyle, engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding. It is customary for the tribe to adorn themselves with beads made of human bones, rings, and other decorative elements in different parts of the body, headdresses with feathers, and masks.

The main thing is that the appearance should scare off enemies. Items of clothing received from tourists are most often used by them for other purposes but are used to make bedspreads and rugs.

Despite Christianity and Islam being professed by the majority, representatives of the ethnic group continue to believe in spirits and witchcraft, worshiping their ancestors. They bury the dead leaders and elders in separate village huts to attract good luck and prosperity. Only men take part in sacred rituals, while women are not allowed to access secret knowledge.

The strongest amulet against the enemy and demonic forces among the Mambila tribe is the frightening Suaga mask, which is also associated with the fertility ritual. The mask represents a certain demon that breaks free in moments of danger for the village.

All ritual chants, prayers, and dances are aimed at the mask during the ceremony. To enhance the action of the Suagi, the Mambila is also put on other less aggressive masks, and then they sing and dance in them.

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