Gyele in Cameroon

Joshua Project has identified the Gyele only in Cameroon





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Bagyele people are hunter-gatherers who live in the Bagyele forest on the southern coast of Cameroon. The forest covers some 12,000 square kilometers and there are between 10 and 40 people per square kilometer. The Bagyele are organized into clans and are becoming more sedentary as they begin to practice agriculture. Traditionally, they believe in one supreme god but they also give prominence to spirits who protect and help with the hunt. Many now earn cash by serving as traditional healers for other groups around them.

They say, "We are the masters of the forest and we were the first to open the road through the forest to the ocean for the other peoples who followed behind us". But, their knowledge of the forest is not the only trait that brings them pride. They are also known for their storytelling, dance, and expertise in hunting.

Gathered around the fire at night one might hear this story of the Bagyele: Once there were three men who went into the forest to hunt. One carried some meat to eat, one had some cassava wrapped in leaves, and one had a dog. After going some distance, they stopped to eat. The man with the cassava offered to share with the man who had some meat to add variety to his meal. The two sat and ate. The man with the dog just sat by and watched. After the men finished eating, they threw the leaves that had wrapped their meal into the forest. The dog, attracted by the lingering smell, went to lick the leaves. There the dog found a treasure and barked to warn his master of his find. Thus began a big argument - to whom did the treasure belong? The man with the meat insisted it was his - it was the smell of the meat that attracted the dog to the treasure. The man with the cassava insisted it should be his - it was his leaf that the dog licked when he found the treasure. Of course, the owner of the dog thought it should be his; after all, it was his dog that found it. There the story ended - no result was told.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Gyele
People Name in Country Gyele
Population in Cameroon 5,200
World Population 5,200
Countries 1
Progress Scale 2.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bayele, Beyele, Gieli
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Pygmy
People Name General Gyele
Ethnic Code BYG12
People ID 18820
Country Cameroon
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country South Province, Ocean Division, Kribi and Lolodorf subdivisions, Kribi forest area, and along Kribi to Lolodorf road.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gyele (5,200)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gyele 5,200
For Primary Language: Gyele

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1969-1987)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
46.80 %
Ethnic Religions
53.20 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
13.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
77.0 %
Photo Source: Oraire Oba  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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