West Africa

The World of Voodoo

As I sit here in Paris, on my way to Cotonou to lead back-to-back tours in Benin and Côte d’Ivoire, I thought I would reflect on these countries by posting some of my favourite images from them and why I love West Africa so much.

Here is West Africa through my eyes….

The incredible ‘trance dance’ of Gambada, the Voodoo celebration of love.
‘The Joker’ masked dancer of the Guéré people in Côte d’Ivoire emerging from the sacred forest.
Young Ivorian kids grab long strands of kelp to use as skipping ropes on the beach at Grand Bassam.
The floating market at Ganvié
A young caretaker of a Niofouin Fetish House in Côte d’Ivoire
One of the little girls who dances the Danse de Jongleurs in Côte d’Ivoire.
A dancer of Koku, the voodoo display of power
Aerial view of Egungun, the Yoruba spirit of the dead who visits the living on earth. Here two Egunguns have clashed and one fell to the ground. I believe I am the first person in the world to use a drone to photograph Egunguns.
Behind the scenes with a famous Zaouli dancer

Motion blur of Egungun
My guide poses in the fanned out reeds used to make matting in Benin
Behind the scenes of the Komian spiritual healer dance in Côte D’Ivoire
A Batonu horseman racing the streets in Benin
Portrait of a Komian spiritual healer

Otamari traditional dancer in northern Benin
The ancient mosque of Missiriba in Kong
A young Voodoo adept watching a dance of Guélédé
Portrait of a Voodoo Princess
The athletic Boloyé dance
Otamari head man
N’Goron Fire Dancer holding a live ember in his teeth!
Otamari traditional hunter
The line of Kora players at Boloyé
Portrait of a Shango Judge
Portrait of a young girl in Kong
A pair of Glé masked dancers in Baoulé culture
The exploding skull at a Shango ceremony
The high priestess of Twins
Zaouli is perhaps the most famous dance in Africa
A male dancer at N’Goron

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