Garay Alphabet: a Wolof Script

Garay is an alphabet created specifically for Wolof, a language widely spoken in Senegal and parts of the Gambia and Mauritania. Traditionally, Wolof was written with an adapted version of …

The Mandé Ritual Clown

Comedians, contrarians, jokesters and tricksters have made their appearance in all human societies, from the more or less secular, bell-capped court jesters of the English Royal Court to the humorous …

3 Tales from the Ivory Coast

Like most tales indigenous to West Africa, the allegories and traditional narratives passed down through generations of Ivorians enthrall and edify, startle and steer, recreate and reinforce the social values …

The Blacksmith

To the percussive rhythm of the forge — clanging hammers, puffing bellows, hissing vapor — the West African blacksmith has been shaping the culture around him since the ancient, artistic, …