Feou Kake (or Feo Kage) is a Tupuri (North Cameroon/South West Chad) harvest celebration held for a week at the end of the rainy season and marking the New Year.

The ceremony involves the sacrifice of a rooster by the Wan Dore – Tupuri people’s supreme or spiritual leader – to give thanks for the abundance and quality of the harvest. It is also accompanied by dances performed by men holding long sticks, energized in the euphoria of Bilbil (local beer). Once inaugurated by the spiritual leader at the bottom of Mount Illi in Fianga (Chad), the festivities continue in the rural and urban local Cameroonian communities.

This selection is the latest in a series of images taken by Blaise Djilo between 2012 and February 2017. Through individual portraits, group pictures of dancers and musicians, and dynamic low-angle shots, the photographs capture both the ceremonial tone and playfulness of the event. They also show male figures embodying a masculinity while, in some instances, assuming a female persona.

Djilo’s documentation of Feou Kake is both a testimony to the survival of traditions in contemporary Cameroon and Chad, and a recording of the adoption of new visual codes through some of the outfits and accessories, as well as the performed gender interchangeability.

Click on the images to view as photo gallery.

Return to Blaise Djilo‘s page.