Streaming Videos of Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, and Cape Verde
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The War Dance of the Bwa
Bwa Stomp: The war dance in Mamboui 256k / 512k / 1Mbps From 1914 through 1918 the Bwa and many other peoples of West Africa fought bravely and hard to preserve their freedom from French colonial aggression. When they (rarely) were victorious against the French they celebrated with the war dance or dance of victory.
Childrens' masks 256 / 512 / 1 Mbps in the villages of Boni and Lollio. The boys emulate their elders by manufacturing plank masks, hawks, butterflies, owls and others of millet stalks, and then wear them in public performances.
Weaving panos on multiple heddles in Cape Verde 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa, has been famous for centuries for the weaving of elaborate textiles that were used to purchase slaves on the mainland in the 18th century.
The Fulani in Burkina and Niger
Who are the Fulani? 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Fulani people live across West Africa from Dakar to Lake Chad. In different areas they are known by different names, including the Peul in Senegal and the Jelgobe, Gowabe, and Wodaabe, who are to be seen in this video. They raise cattle, and live from the milk. They are constantly on the move, looking for better pastures for their herds.
Fulani (Jelgobe, Gowabe) homes 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Fulani are a very diverse people. The Gowabe and Jelgobe live in northern Burkina and Niger . These people make beautiful, domed houses decorated inside with colorful mats and leather hangings. Women wear beautiful jewelry and weave mats.
Ruume Dance of Welcome or the Wodaabe at Abdu Nazen, Niger 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The beautiful and elegant Ruume dance, young men paint their faces yellow, the color of magic, and dance to welcome participants to the Wurso.
Geerewal festival of the Wodaabe at Abdu Nazen, Niger 56K dial up/ 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The long, elaborate, and very beautiful dance of the young Wodaabe men in a small village in Niger in November, 2007. Two clans compete for the title of most beautiful and charming young Wodaabe man. The judges are the most beautiful young women of each clan.
Wodaabe men in Geerewal festival / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Spectacular performance of men in southern Niger. Young men of the Wodaabe color their faces red and wear beads and ostrich feathers in competitions that are judged by the young women of the opposing clan.
Masks in performance
Buffalo mask, Winiama village of Ouri 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps One of the most spectacular performances is the bush buffalo, which tosses its head. It has been belled to warn of its approach.
Bwa masks in Boni 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Bwa are among the very few people in West Africa who continue to use masks carved of wood in the same contexts in which they used them a century ago. Bwa planks masks, hyena, serpent, hawk, dwarf, leper, and others at the spectacular first mask festival of the year in Boni, February, 2005.
If you would like to attend a mask performance at Boni and want to know when the masks will appear call Bonde Yacouba, Artistic Director of the Mask Societies in Boni, telephone 226/20.99.06.53 cell phone 226/61.43.89 Masks usually appear every week or so from early March to June. He speaks French and Bwamu only. Si vous vouléz assister aux performances des masques a Boni, appelez Bonde Yacouba, Directeur Artisitique des Masques Bwa a Boni. Vous pouvez voir les masques du debut mars au mois de juin.
Nuna butterfly mask 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A large butterfly mask in a southern Nuna village represents the renewal of life in the springtime with the first rains of the season.
Nuna chameleon mask 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A chameleon mask in the Nuna village of Tisse. The chameleon represents change, and is considered spiritually very dangerous.
Nuna hyena chews a bone 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The young performer tries to interpret the voracious character of the hyena, which is still a much feared and very dangerous animal in West Africa.
Nuna bush pig mask 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Like the hyena, the bush pig is thought of as dirty and disgusting, so much so that when the hyena and bush pig masks sit down the other masks get up and leave.
Nuna m asks 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A large number of masks in a southern Nuna town parade past the audience to greet visitors to the village.
Pottery forming and firing
Thickening the rim of a new pot 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A woman of the Konate family in Ouri adds clay to the rim of a new jar to be used to brew millet beer.
Maria Kafando reconnecting sides of a new jar 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Mossi potter Maria Kafando, who lives in a tiny village south of Ouagadougou, removes the mold from inside her new jar and reconsolidates the torn edges.
Pottery in the Jelly village of Pelignan
Using a roulette on the side of a new jar 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Awa Diabite uses a corncob roulette to form repeating patterns on the sides of a new jar.
Forming pottery 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Awa Diabite in the village of Pelignan uses the direct pull technique to begin forming a new jar.
Kneading fresh clay to make pottery 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Awa Diabite's daughter kneads fresh clay with her feet.
Adding pots to the firing 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The women of the Diabite family build the pile of pots to be fired.
Firing pottery in Pelignan 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Diabite women in the village of Pelignan, in far western Burkina, assist the potter Awa Diabite as she fires several weeks work.
Adding dry grass to the firing 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Awa's co-wives throw bunches of
Blackening hot pottery after firing 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Diabite women blacken the pots while they are still red hot.
Public Festivals: FESTIMA in Dedougou and Semaine Nationale de la Culture in Bobo Dioulasso
Fulani men's dance, Wodabe yake dance, Bororo Fulani 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Wodabe men from Niger perform the yaake dance, a men's dance intended to show off their grace, charm and beauty, at the SNC in Bobo-Dioulasso in March, 2006. They open their eyes wide and flash their white teeth to show young women how beautiful they are.
Yoruba Gelede Masks 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Masks from the Yoruba people of Benin appear at the FESTIMA, Festival des masques, in Dedougou, March, 2006.
Dogon and Baule Masks 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Masks from the Dogon people of Mali and the Baule people of RCI appear at the FESTIMA, Festival des masques, in Dedougou, March, 2006.
African Wrestling 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The championship match at the Semaine National de la Culture, Bobo-Dioulasso, March, 2006.
Great serpent mask from the village of Boni 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Bwa serpent mask from Boni performs at the annual FESTIMA (Festival des masques) in Dedougou.
Northern Bobo nwenka mask 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps At the annual Festival des masques in Dedougou a northern Bobo mask performs to drums and whistles. Such masks represent the God Dwo, the spirit of nature and the power of the wilderness.
Northern Bobo mask 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A northern Bobo antelope mask performs. The antelope is a metaphor for the power of the wilderness.
Two large plank masks from Boni 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Bwa plank masks are religious signboards on which the laws for the ethical and moral conduct of life are displayed.
A large double plank mask from the Bonde family in Boni 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Each Bwa family owns several masks, including plank masks. Men and women alike have access to the masks because they belong to the family, not to a secret men's society. The checkerboard pattern represents the difference between ignorance and knowledge. White represents ignorance, black represents lifelong knowledge.
Northern Bobo masks 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Northern Bobo masks represent Dwo, one of three sons of God, and the god of the rebirth of life in the spring. These plank masks are the type used by farmers, and are called nwenka.
Northern Bobo masks II 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps These northern Bobo masks appeared at the annual FESTIMA at Dedouogou. The mask is a nwenke, sacred to smiths and farmers.
Marka leaf masks 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps These leaf masks are an excellent example as ephemeral or temorary art. The masks are made in the morning and destroyed in the evening.
Marka leaf masks II 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Leaf masks perform at FESTIMA in 2005. These masks represent the God of new life in the spring, so they are made of natural materials, including leaves, grass, and wild bird feathers.
Mossi griot (singer) in the village of Dablo 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The famous Mossi griot Bamogo Kida plays in cabarets all over the northern part of Mossi country, from Kongoussi to Kaya.
Nuna women singing 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A large group of women from the Nuna village of Tisse sing greetings and welcome to visitors to the village, 2002.
Dance of the Bella 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A group of three Bella men and three Bella women plus several musicians perform at their lodging at the Semaine Nationale de la Culture in Bobo, March, 2006.
Fulani songs 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A group of several Fulani men and women perform treaditonal songs. The men specialize in singing deep in their throats, an ancient Fulani technique. They perform at the primary school where they lived during the Semaine Nationale de la Culture in Bobo, March, 2006.
of the Sahel 56k /
256k / 512k / 1Mbps A
group of men and women from northern Burkina Faso perform
traditional songs and dances. These
include Fulbe, Bella, and Tuareg songs and dances. The troupe is
called Foumtigol de Dori and is organized by
a Fulbe musician named Yero Kampti, who
lives in Dori. The
music is provided by calabashes, guitars, and clapping.
Art for everyday
Children's masquerades in central Burkina 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Boys in Boni and Lollio emulate their elders and make masks of millet stalks. These are then used in performances in the village for an audience of their parents and schoolmates.
Making mud bricks 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Men and boys near Mamboui make adobe bricks to be used to build a new house.
Building a house 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A group of men use mud bricks to construct a new house in the Tagwara village of Savara.
Spinning cotton thread 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Winniessiga Bamogo, an elder woman of the Bamogo family of smiths, spins raw cotton into thread on a drop spindle.
Cutting heads of grain 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Men and women of the Bamogo family in Dablo, northern Burkina, harvest grain in the fall.
Curving the blade of a hoe 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A blacksmith in a small Nuna village in central Burkina Faso forges a hoe blade with the help of his brother who pumps the bellows.
Sand divination 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The diviner Seydou Traore uses sand divination to help me decide which career path to follow; to continue to teach or to serve three years in administration.
Smelting iron in Dablo 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Each of the complex steps in smelting iron from raw ore, from mining the ore, burning the charcoal, building the kiln to smelting the iron and forging it into tools.
Women cutting grain 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Women of the Bamogo family cut white sorghum at harvest time. This will be ground into flour to make beer or food.
A large weaving workshop in Ouagadougou 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A Moslem merchant employs large numbers of men in a workshop in Ouagadougou (Dapoya) to weave colorful textiles.
Using weft floats in Asante weaving 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps This weaver in Bonwire, in Bonwire, is using weft float threads to form the elaborate patterns that make black and white kente cloth so beautiful.
Rapid weaving in Ghana 56k/ 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A kente weaver who is weaving simple pattern is able to weave at a very rapid pace.
Close-up of weaving loom 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps This weaver in Bonwire, just outside Kumasi, is using weft float threads to form the elaborate patterns that make kente cloth so beautiful. The warp threads are the narrow strip of yellow, green and red threads leading away from the weaver's body.
Stamping adinkra cloth in Ghana 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Applying the thick black dye to a black adinkra cloth that will be worn at a funeral.
Using shed sticks on a loom in Bonwire, Ghana 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A kente weaver in Bonwire uses shed sticks to open up a space through which he passes the weft threads.
Cape Coast Castle, Ghana 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Hundreds of thousands of slaves were imprisoned in this castle by Dutch, Portuguese, and English slavers, before being shipped to the Americas. It was also the headquarters of the British colonial power in Ghana until 1957.
Women singing at the funeral of the Chief of Ho 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Procession of men and women along the main street of the city of Ho, in eastern Ghana, for the funeral of the late Chief. May, 2003.
The market in Agbozume, eastern Ghana 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The large and busy market at Agbozume, in eastern Ghana next to Lome, where large quantities of yarn, loom parts, and Ewe kente cloth are sold. May, 2003.
Busy streets in Accra, Tema, and Teschie Ghana 56k / 25 6k / 512k / 1Mbps One of the busiest streets in the old downtown area of Accra, near the main market. Traffic in Teschie, near Paa Joe's. The streets of a residential area of Tema. If you have never visited an African city, this is how three of them appear.
Coffins at Paa Joe's 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps A variety of models for sale. these are custom made based on the deceased's occupation. The senior salesman describes for me the different models of coffins that are available for sale, and how one orders a particular style lining for a coffin in the shape of a tennis shoe. Other coffins for sale that day included an airplane, for a pilot, and a canon for a miltary man.
Fishing boats on the slave beach at Cape Coast Castle 56k/ 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Fante fishing boats are pulled up on the shore beneath the "door of no return." Hundreds of colonial officers came and went from this beach until 1957, and hundreds of thousands of slaves left Africa forever.
Pounding fufu at a restaurant between Akosombo and Accra 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Fufu is made of pounded cassava and plantain. It is a favorite food, eaten with vegetable or meat soup (stew).
The funeral of the Omanhene of Takyiman
Funeral of the Omanhene of Takyiman, Ghana 56k/ 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The mourners pay their respects to the late Oamnhene of Takyiman.
The Queen Mother of Denkyira at the funeral of the Omanhene 56k/ 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The Queen Mother is the senior female member of the royal family. This Queen Mother is also a highly trained and accomplished attorney. She has come to pay honor to the deceased chief.
Sword bearers at funeral of Omanhene 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps These men hold the office of sword bearer for the chief: they are rsponsible for maintaining his security, and hold swords that are visual mataphors for his military power.
Traditional executioners at Omanhene's funeral 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps Executioners dance with a large piece of elephant hide, a potent metaphor for power.
Executioners at the funeral of the Omanhene 56k / 256k / 512k / 1Mbps The state executioners dance for chiefs at the funeral of Osabarima Dotobibi Takyia Ameyaw II, Omanhene of Techiman.