jueves, 22 de mayo de 2008
Official languages: French
History: The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples. They were largely replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes as they migrated.
In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived.
In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. These territories became independent on August 17, 1960.
Geography: Gabon is located on the Atlantic coast of central Africa. Gabon has an equatorial climate with an extensive system of rainforests covering 85% of the country.
There are three distinct regions: the coastal plains, the mountains and the savanna in the east.
Gabon's largest river is the Ogooué which is 1200 km long. Gabon is also noted for efforts to preserve the natural environment.
Culture: Gabonese music is little-known in comparison with regional giants like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon.
Imported rock and hip hop from the US and UK are popular in Gabon, as are rumba, makossa and soukous.
Masks: Gabon also features internationally celebrated masks, such as the n'goltang (Fang) and the relicary figures of the Kota. Each group has its own set of masks used for various reasons. They are mostly used in traditional ceremonies such as marriage, birth and funerals. Traditionalists mainly work with rare local woods and other precious materials.