DVD: circumcision ceremonies and masquerades of the bozo, kirango (mali)


By Elisabeth den Otter

Kirango is an old village on the banks of the Niger river, 35 km from Ségou. 
The village is inhabited by Bamanan (farmers) and Bozo/Somono (fishermen). Both ethnic groups celebrate their masquerades, each in their own way. Every ten years the Bozo/Somono organize a circumcision ceremony, one of the most important social events. A masquerade is held, which comprises dances, masks and ‘sogow’ (literally ‘animals’), large puppets that represent an animal, symbolic or domestic. They are accompanied by drumming and singing.

In July 2005, a circumcision ceremony took place. Around 100 boys were circumcised and taken to the compound of the most important Bozo family, where they stayed for ten days. The Bamanan participated in the festivities during one afternoon with their dances and masks. The Bozo/Somono filled an evening and an afternoon. 

In February 2005 the Bozo/Somono also participated in the Festival sur le Niger, in Ségou. 

This dvd consists of three parts: 
1) an introduction (slide series with explanation)
2) a film (52 minutes), in five parts:
     a) the preparations
     b) the procession
     c) the masks of the Bamanan
     d) the night masks of the Bozo/Somono 
     e) the day masks of the Bozo/Somono
3) a film (15 minutes), of the Bozo/Somono performance
    during the Festival sur le Niger, in Ségou

N.B.: the liner notes are in French.

Films, photos, texts and production: Elisabeth den Otter
Samaké Records 02, 2006 © 
➤email: edomusic@mac.com

➤Article and photos of the Bozo circumcision and masquerades


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