Tag Archives: Mendé

The Mandé Ritual Clown

Photography of the chief korèduga of Mimana in Mali by Jethro Massey. The clown or buffoon is wearing strips of torn cloth and a colorful monkey mask.

“To understand comedy is to understand humanity, for the comic sense is central to what it means to be human”. ― Conrad Hyers, The Spirituality of Comedy, Comic Heroism in a Tragic World Predestined to Provoke Comedians, contrarians, jokesters and tricksters have made their appearance in all human societies, from the more or less secular, bell-capped …

West African Religion(s)

Top half of a painting in the primitivism style by Nigerian painter, Twins Seven Seven. It depics Shango, a Yoruba orisha, and lesser divinity in West African Religion, surrounded by worshippers during his dedicated festival.

Though a majority of West Africans have now adopted Abrahamic religions such as Islam or Christianity, there are still pockets of people who adhere to the spirituality of their ancestors. Even among those who’ve embraced imported religions, vestiges of their traditional beliefs systems remain manifestly visible in the masked dances, in the festivals and celebrations, …