Gabon Boys' Clothes

Gabon boys clothing
Figure 1.-- This boy lives in the Gabonese province of Haut-Ogooué. He wears an example of the children’s clothing you see in the villages of equatorial African forest. They children often wear used old western-style clothing importd from America and Europe.

Gabon is a former French colony in west equitorial Africa. The country since independence (1960) has been dominated by two autocratic leaders. The current president is El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba. He as a result of autocrartic policies is one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world. He has dominated Gabon since the 1970s. Gabon has a nominally democratic multi-party system and a constitution introduced in the 1990s. The elections, however, are really competive. We have a Gabon history page. Gabon has done better economically than many other African countries. Factors here are a relatively small population, abundant natural resources, and foreign assistance. As a result Gabon in African terms is relatively prosperous and stable. The pigmaies who inhabited the area were displaced by the more advanced Bantu people migrating south into Gabon (16th-18th centuries). The most important Bantu tribe was the Fang who first settled in what is now Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, finally reaching the area of modern Gabon. While Bantu people dominated Gabon, there are dome 40 tribal groups with distinctive languages and cultural traditions. The most important is the Fang. Others tribes include the Myene, Bandjabi, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke/Obamba, and Okande as well as a few pygmies living in remote villages. We do not yet have much information about boys' activities in Gabon. School is of course the orincipal activity. Gabon is a largely Christian country. Something like 75 percen of the population identifies as being Christian. A majority is Catholic as a result of French colonial rule. Christian missionaries have been active in Gabon since the early-19th century. Some 10 percent are Muslim, but many are foreigners. About 10 percent of the population practice traditional religious practices. Many Christins and Muslims have inciorporate somr traditional elements in their religious practices. As in other African countries, the principal sport enjoyed by boys is soccer. As in much of the rest of Africa, children no longer wear traditional or destinctive clothes. Rather the coutries imports large quantities of used clothing from America and Europe. This has ruined local textile and clothing manufacturing countries. And it means that children now commonly wear Western-styled clothing. We do not have a Gabon page yet, we do have one image from Gabon on the flip-flop page.


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Created: 6:48 AM 11/23/2007
Last updated: 5:25 PM 12/28/2011