Ebando has at its roots the desire to help fight against poverty and prejudice, through promoting traditional activities and inter-cultural communication.

The organization is innovative through its socio-cultural approach



Hugues Obiang Poitevin, also known by his Bwiti name, Tatayo, arrived in Gabon in 1971 and discovered the indigenous religion of Bwiti in 1976. In 1979, he was initiated into Fang Bwiti Dissumba. Then, in 1980, he co-founded the Association for the Promotion of Cultural Village Gabon. In 1994, after guiding nearly 70 Westerners to Gabonese villages for Bwiti initiation, Tatayo was initiated into Bwiti Missoko Ngonde na Dipouma and built his own Bwiti temple (1).

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Roots, Masks and Visions

Non-Governmental Organisation which aims to give broader access to the fundamental tangible and intangible cultural heritage found in various regions of Central Africa (including forest habitats, savannas, rivers, lakes and lagoons).

The organisation seeks to encourage the transmission of traditional Knowledge and practices including philosophy and oral traditions, art and crafts; and the healing skills of the Bantu and Pygmy peoples from the Ogooué basin region of Gabon.

What we mainly do is

Initiation into Bwiti: (Missoko Gondé Dipuma) or Rites including usage of Sacred Wood IBOGA(Disumba).

Guided forest walks – Discover the marvels of this profound country through specialist walks for tourists. Themes include Ethnobotany, Insects, Healing, Ecology and Mysticism.

Ancient practices-including knowledge of plants, rituals and healing.


Your platform for discovering Gabon and getting initiated in the Bwiti tradition.



Wild life and biodiversity



Tailor made / Join a group



” I was initiated at Ebando in May 2018, and was welcomed warmly, receiving the highest levels of care and guidance from everybody in the Ebando community. A truly liberating, expansive, breath taking and magical experience.”

MBONGO MUTENENE, Life changing

“Yes, thanks to Tatayo, who went through it with me Without his support I would not have finished! I’m so glad I did, life is great and things that used to be problems now are very easy to deal with! Love to all of YOU ! Ongongo”

L. MATHIS, Brothers and Sister in Bwiti!

“I hope you guys are doing ok. I’m doing alright and I’m watching the experience you guys gave me make changes in my life. I miss you both.”

KIDANI, 5 months later
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Satellite Projects

El Jireh

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Women at risk

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Gabon Untouched

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Youth re-insertion

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Pygmies Notes

From Children of the Forest

Painting one’s face means relaxing, making beautiful.
This makes the forest rejoice
They have all they need.
Crime and war are unknown.
Cooperation to catch game. Each family makes a net and maintains it. Men tend the nets, women (beaters) chase the animals into the nets. They have dogs for pets
Surplus of meat may lead to keeping a small animal as a pet, till they get hungry again.
Mirrors are unknown. Friends app1y make-up to each other. A mixture of forest fruits and milk makes the make-up.
No two designs are alike among the women’s make-up. This fosters creativity.
Pygmy man is not involved in the birth of children.
Children enter the womb of forest when wrapped in a bark cloth.
Every man is father. every woman mother. Man and women play with children.
People will break away if food is scarce.
Monogamy generally prevails.
Family members sleep together.
One cannot be truly alone. Sangu killed and elephant. Has high status because of this.
Meat stored in baskets hanging on the wall. (it is smoked). The tire is always burning.
Carry burning 1ogs with fire in it. Do not want to bring in fire-makinq methods from the farmers.
Playing passes knowledge from one generation to the next. Hoop dance teaches Children skills needed for adult life.
Pygmies value cleanliness.
Short hair reduces lice.
Bathe as often as possible
Boys learn to hunt at young age (two).
Butterflies, toads. Snakes.
Horned viper: one of the most poisonous: good food.
Poison arrows.
A leaf guides the arrow.
Plants, insects, and berries make the poison. layers.
It has to be applied in Colobus monkey is a favorite food source.
Some cultivate foods and arrows with iron tips for jungle food and medicinal plants.
Pygmies have to agree to farmers traditions to make their gods happy.
Marriage and circumcision. Rituals. Painting, rubbing and oiling (palm oil) the body.
Decorated bride. Beating the bride is to ward off evil spirits.
Circumcision: leaf with herbal mixture and salt bind the wound. Switching distracts the mind from the pain.

Pygmies dance to thank the villagers for their hospitality.
Hunting dances remind the women that the forest is the mother of them all. Egyptians called pygmies the dancers of god.
Intonation of ancient Pygmy language is all that is left of their early language. Now they tend to speak Kingwana (Swahili) with an ancient Pygmy accent. Mongongo leaf: mats, hut covering, drinking cups.
pygmies overhear each others conversations, provoking laughter, sometimes.
Pygmies move on a month1y basis to prevent build up of wastes
Rivers provide clean water for bathing (no soap)
Ta thank the forest: tires, sing, hold the forest in great reverence
Army ants: attack humans too.
Wounds: healing with medicinal plants.
Cloth : from tree bark.
Pounded with elephant tusk hammer to soften the bark cloth
Dyes: each design is different.
No fixed patterns.

Sangu: loner: likes to hunt a1one. Blacken faces to look like chimps so as to be less threatening to the forest animals
Iko: ceremonial drink: green berries and the cola nut (cafein) stimulant in Coca Cola.
No cups, so the pygmies use leaves.
Drinking from the sarna leaf indicates a bonding.
The meat is shared by all.

Men leave camp without farewells.
Malenghe (termite hill fungus): food.
They love mushrooms and honey:
When meat 15 scarce: leaves fruits, nuts, wild berries, mushrooms.
Vegetation gives clues as to where one can find edible roots.
Marijuana is smoked when there is time: it is supplied by the villagers.
Gabandu and Sangu find elephant tracks.
Removing the tips of the trunk and tail removes the identity of the animal:
this must be done before eating the animal.
The tail is brought back to camp. No announcement: the tail is the message..
The meat i5 smoke dried to preserve it. Smoked meat loses 50% of Its weight as the liquid 15 dried.
Spontaneous dancing thanks the jungle and Sangu.

Huts of those who may have recently caused a disturbance may be destroyed in the elephant dance.

—Unknown Author