Culture of the Buduma People

The Buduma are an ethnic group in Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.

[Photo Credit: Steve Kemper's Blog]

The Buduma are said to be descendants of the Sao civilization and Kanem-Bornu Empire. The Buduma are mostly fishermen and cattle herders. Although, there are commercial fishermen, most of the fish are used for personal and family sustenance.

Exclusive to the Buduma cattle is their large and hollow horns. This allows the cattle to easily float in water when being transported. The Buduma hardly kill and eat their cattle, they however use or consume products derived from the cattle.

In the past, Buduma carried out violent raids on the cattle herds of their neighbors. They were greatly feared villains with aggressive reputations, this made them highly respected clans. Over the years, they were protected by their own habitat of water and reeds, thus never attacked.

Today, they are welcoming and nonviolent tribe that are willing to adopt civilization. Their neighbors call them Buduma, meaning “people of the grass or reeds”, but they prefer to be called Yedina. They speak the Yedina Language.

Buduma clan is divided into the Kuri and Buduma, which is further divided into smaller groups like Mehul, Maibuloa, Budjia, Madjigodjia and so on, with Guria being the largest. They are well known for their papyrus reed boats, perhaps this is why they are called people of the reeds. They are powerful swimmers and they also teach their kids how to swim and fish from a young age.

By age 15, Buduma boys are circumcised, marking their maturity into manhood. Men marry in their late twenties while women marry really early.

To the Buduma, it is important to marry within their own ethnic group. They strictly believe in preserving their distinct culture. Hence, even though some men may marry from neighboring villages, they don’t take the women back to their island homes. A Buduma woman will never marry a “mainland” man.

Although the Buduma are Muslims, they still incorporate traditional beliefs and practices into their way of life.






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Written by Monsurat

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