Equatorial Guinea History and Culture

By | September 16, 2021


Reached by the Portuguese in the second half of the century. XV, was ceded to Spain in 1778 with the Pardo Treaty. In 1827 the British established a naval base in Macías Nguema Biyogo for the fight against the slave trade, administering the island with the consent of Spain, which returned to possession in 1844. The Berlin Conference (1885) recognized the Spanish rights on the Mbini and on the archipelago of Macías Nguema Biyogo. The manifestation of nationalist aspirations led, in 1963, to the emanation, by Spain, of a legislative provision establishing the Province of Equatorial Guinea, which was granted internal autonomy on 3 July 1964. In the following years – also by virtue of the solicitations of the UN – Equatorial Guinea was initiated into full independence, achieved on 12 October 1968 after the promulgation of a Constitution (12 August 1968) which gave life to a presidential republic. But the authoritarian methods practiced by the head of the new state, Francisco Macías Nguema, exasperated the already acute internal tensions. In August 1979 the president was overthrown (later executed) by a military coup that installed a Supreme Military Council chaired by Colonel Téodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.. After a couple of coup attempts (1983 and 1985), the regime continued to balance itself in international relations between Spain and France. Despite the internal context of economic crisis and growth of social tensions, the 1987 Constitution of the Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial (PDGE) was a prelude to the adoption of a multi-party system. Definitely introduced in 1992 by President Mbasogo (reconfirmed in office since 1989), after the approval by referendum of a new Constitution, multi-partyism did not damage the leadership of the PDGE, since the opposition forces were not granted the necessary tools to lead a real political struggle. As in the previous elections, also in the 1999 legislative elections, followed by the umpteenth accusations of serious fraud by the opposition, the PDGE obtained an absolute majority. The same scenario reappeared on the occasion of the presidential elections of December 2002 in which Nguema, practically in the absence of real opponents, was reconfirmed with a large majority, but at the cost of fraud and heavy intimidation of the opposition, in the political and administrative elections of 2004 and in the presidential elections of 2009 in which Nguema was reconfirmed with 95% of the preferences.


According to cancermatters, the literature of the last period of the twentieth century is a slow product of a Hispano-Bantu cultural symbiosis, which could find a favorable ground to flourish only after the fall of the ferocious dictator Macías Nguema (1979). An anthology, edited by D. Ndongo-Bidyogo, which appeared in 1984, reported a ferment of trends that do not coagulate in schools and good authors such as, for prose, José Buaki, Maplal Loboch, Leoncio Evita and Ndongo himself -Bidyogo. The poem is represented by Marcelo Ensema, authors of great expressive power, Francisco Zamora, open to new experiments, Costantino Ochoa, sensitive and sophisticated, María Nsue, with fresh lyricism, Julian Bibang, with an intimate vein, the ironic Cristino Bueriberi and Anacleto Olò, of social inspiration. Although the Roman Catholic religion is the official religion and is practiced by the overwhelming majority of the population, in rural areas, sorcerers still play an important role in various religious beliefs and occupy a prominent position in the community. Music and dance are an integral part of many rites; in one of these, said abira, they try to drive out evil from the community. A Bantu Bubi ceremony consists of placing a pot of water at the entrance of the village, asking the good spirits to protect the people of the village and to bless them by giving birth to more children. In indigenous religions ancestors are venerated; they are said to live in a place called Borimo, and are thought to affect the lives of the living. The bubi often place amulets even a few hundred meters outside the village, such as animal bones, feathers and shells in memory of their dead. Both fang and bubi still retain traditional music and dance, which are central elements of the country’s culture. The most common musical instruments are the drum, the wooden xylophone, the adungu (an instrument similar to a small harp, with ten strings), a kind of zither and the sanza, a tiny stringed instrument played with the thumbs. The musicians, usually three or four in number, accompany the traditional dances: among these the balélé (performed at Christmas and on holidays) and the ibanga, the national fang dance, widespread mainly along the coast: the dancers, men and women, paint their bodies white. The main foods are cassava root, banana, rice and sweet potato; the diet is integrated with fish and game. Popular drinks are palm wine and malamba (an alcoholic extract from cane sugar).

Equatorial Guinea Culture