Ambasse bey

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Music of Cameroon
Bamileke drummers
Specific forms
Regional music

Ambasse bey or ambas-i-bay is a style of folk music and dance from Cameroon. The music is based on commonly available instruments, especially guitar, with percussion provided by sticks and bottles.[1] The music is faster-paced than and originated from assiko, an older form of Cameroonian popular folk music.[2]

Ambasse bey originated among the Yabassi ethnic group[3] and grew popular in Douala after World War II. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the style evolved in the Cameroonian Littoral. In the mid-1960s, Eboa Lotin performed a style of ambasse bey on harmonica and guitar that was the earliest form of makossa, a style that quickly came to overshadow its predecessor and become Cameroon's most popular form of indigenous music.[4] Ambasse bey was revived to an extent by Cameroonian singer Sallé John.[5]


  1. ^ Mbaku 197.
  2. ^ Hudgens and Trillo 1183.
  3. ^ Guide touristique 131.
  4. ^ Mbaku 197–8.
  5. ^ DeLancey and DeLancey 184.


  • Chrispin, Pettang, directeur, Cameroun: Guide touristique. Paris: Les Éditions Wala.
  • DeLancey, Mark W., and Mark Dike DeLancey (2000): Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon (3rd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press.
  • Hudgens, Jim, and Richard Trillo (1999). West Africa: The Rough Guide. 3rd ed. London: Rough Guides Ltd.
  • Mbaku, John Mukum (2005). Culture and Customs of Cameroon. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.