The Gyele (Bagyele / Bajele), also known as the Kola (Bakola) or Koya (Bakoya), are the pygmies of southern Cameroon and adjacent areas of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. They live among Bantu patrons, the Mvumbo and Bassa. Some people believe that they speak a dialect of Mvumbo. Many authors, however, agree that the Bagyeli speak a language all their own.
Ethnically, the Gyele are close to other Mbenga peoples such as the Aka and Baka, but their languages are not close. There are two dialects, Jele which was closely associated with the Mvumbo, and Kola (also pronounced Koya), which was closely associated with the Basaa. Other farming peoples they live with are the Yasa, Batanga, Bakoko, Mvae, Ewondo and Beti.
The name Bakola/Bakoya is also used for the pygmies of the Congo–Gabon border region.
- Renaud, Patrick (1976). Le bajeli. Phonologie, morphologie nominale. Vol. 1 et 2. Yaoundé: Les Dossiers de L'ALCAM. p. 27.
- Grimm, Nadine (2015). A Grammar of Gyeli. Humboldt University of Berlin: PhD thesis. p. 8.
- Bakola documentation project, DoBeS
- African Forest Peoples Pygmy groups of Central Africa, with photos and sounds
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