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People and Society of Gabon

The population is about 1.3 million with most of the population consisting of tribes of Bantu origin like the Fang, Eshira, Mbele and Okande. The Fang alone makes up 1/3 of the total population. Under the influence of the French, this erstwhile tribal society has undergone sea changes in life styles and social practice, particularly in the urban centres. But fortunately some of the old habits die-hard and dance, song, poetry and myths remain an important part of traditional Gabonese life.

French is the official language though other local languages are spoken in the interior including Fang, Bapounou and Bandgabi. Eshira is spoken by a tenth of the population while the Bantu tribes speak Bantu dialects like Bapounou, Miene and Bateke.

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