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The Okuyi (plural: Mekuyo, also known as Ukuyi, Ocuya, Mokoi, Mukudj, Ikwara, Okukwe and Mbwanda, in Equatorial Guinea (Spanish): Mamarracho) is a rite of passage practised by several Bantu ethnic groups in different countries mainly across the west coast of Central Africa. Some of the countries where the rite is exercised include Cameroon in West Central Africa, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Traditionally, the rite is performed at numerous special occasions including funerals and weddings. Usually when an infant reaches four months of age or when a child becomes an adolescent, an Okuyi ritual is applied as well. Today, the Mekuyo rite is exercised by a range of ethnic peoples within the Bantu cluster. The coastal community known as Ndowe, also known as playeros, is a primary example, as pe

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  • Okuyi
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  • The Okuyi (plural: Mekuyo, also known as Ukuyi, Ocuya, Mokoi, Mukudj, Ikwara, Okukwe and Mbwanda, in Equatorial Guinea (Spanish): Mamarracho) is a rite of passage practised by several Bantu ethnic groups in different countries mainly across the west coast of Central Africa. Some of the countries where the rite is exercised include Cameroon in West Central Africa, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Traditionally, the rite is performed at numerous special occasions including funerals and weddings. Usually when an infant reaches four months of age or when a child becomes an adolescent, an Okuyi ritual is applied as well. Today, the Mekuyo rite is exercised by a range of ethnic peoples within the Bantu cluster. The coastal community known as Ndowe, also known as playeros, is a primary example, as pe
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  • Okuyi
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  • Ukuyi performer in Bata, Equatorial Guinea
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  • The Okuyi (plural: Mekuyo, also known as Ukuyi, Ocuya, Mokoi, Mukudj, Ikwara, Okukwe and Mbwanda, in Equatorial Guinea (Spanish): Mamarracho) is a rite of passage practised by several Bantu ethnic groups in different countries mainly across the west coast of Central Africa. Some of the countries where the rite is exercised include Cameroon in West Central Africa, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Traditionally, the rite is performed at numerous special occasions including funerals and weddings. Usually when an infant reaches four months of age or when a child becomes an adolescent, an Okuyi ritual is applied as well. Today, the Mekuyo rite is exercised by a range of ethnic peoples within the Bantu cluster. The coastal community known as Ndowe, also known as playeros, is a primary example, as peoples across Equatorial Guinea frequently perform the ritual in public. Gabon has two chief ethnic groups that exercise the Okuyi rite including the Mpongwe and Galwa from Lambaréné, Gabon. The man in the custome is usually the leader of the group. The history of the Mekuyo can be traced back to Gabon. The dance is believed to have originated from the rites of passages initiated by western and southern ethnic groups like the Mpongwe and from the Galwa region. It was in the mid-nineteenth century when the Benga people, who are both native to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, introduced the ethnic performance to the island of Corisco and Cabo San Juan. At the end of the century, the coastal group of the Kombe people had extended the routine to Mbini. By the beginning of the twentieth century, several clans in Bata such as the Punta Mbonda had embraced the Mekuyo tradition. Throughout the Mekuyo’s history there have been several famous Ukuyi performers. Some of the most famous are from Equatorial Guinea such as Alonga from Corisco and Boso bua Ndondjo from Mbini. Well known Okuyi dancers from the Litoral Province include Kungulu, Ngadi, Aduma and Ngüende a limba from Ekuku.
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