Pinnacle Sociology & Anthropology

February 2019, Vol.3 (1).

© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


The Human Body: Cultural Marker And Source Of History Among Bamileke And Moundang Communities In The Twentieth


Lecturer, Department of History1*,
Faculty of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences,
University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon.

Assistant, Department of History2,
Faculty of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences,
University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon.

Accepted 25 February, 2019; Available Online 27 February, 2019.


It is possible to read and understand certain aspects of the history of a people based on their wounds. The aim of this paper is to show that the human body is a cultural appendage as well as the source of history. An arts history can be based on the ornaments and motifs of scarificators; a history of religions can be based on authorizations and prohibitions of scarification rituals; a history of gender can be based on female corporeal aesthetics. As such history ceases to be made only with texts whose exactitude is irreplaceable. It is made with thousands of other documentary, mixed sources. They are "signs" which, for example, are symbolic or real wounds on women's laps, backs or else on their stomachs. These "stones" or "metals" are, for instance, scarifications which beautify the physique of queens and princesses. A study of the motivation for their production, of their producers, of their beneficiaries would variously provide knowledge about the economic, social, political or cultural history of a region or of a people.

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