Laka

Types of Art

Most Laka art are body arts, which are most evident during initiation.

History

It is believed that Laka peoples originated from the northwest in the area near Lake Chad and were pushed southward over the last two centuries by the expansion of the Fulani empire into their current location in southern Chad. They share linguistic and cultural ties with their Cameroonian neighbors who live to the south and were also pushed south by the Fulani.

Economy

Cotton is the primary crop grown for export. Millet and peanuts are also staples. Most Laka are sedentary farmers who plant seasonal crops during the rainy season, which extends from April to October.

Political Systems

Most villages are organized around a patrilineage. Leadership is accorded to those elders in the village who are able to trace their descent from the first Laka lineage to occupy the village. Other lineages may live in a village, but the descendents of the first lineage usually retain a paramount status. As such, they are responsible for heading initiation instruction and making most important agricultural decisions. A council of elders with representatives from each lineage work together to govern a village.

Religion

Laka religion centers around recognition of the ancestors. Ownership of land is directly tied to the founding ancestors' remains being buried on that land. Offerings are made to the ancestors daily in the form of libations and food offerings.

Facts about Laka

Location

Explore a map of Laka peoples and their neighbors in southwestern Chad

Countries

Cameroon, Chad

Languages

Laka/Mboum (Niger-Congo)

Population

100,000

Neighboring Peoples

Sara, Cameroonian peoples, Fulani