[TBC] THE INCREDIBLE AND COLOURFUL GEREWOL FESTIVAL OCTOBER 2024
DATES TBC – CURRENT DATES ARE ESTIMATE
Once a year in Chad the Wodaabe come together in a festival known as the Gerewol. This is a beauty pageant for the men so that they might be selected by the women of the tribe. The women are usually younger and the men are seen as fair game in a society which is polygamous and polygynous. The men adorn themselves using a diversity of facial paint colours and the whites of the eye and teeth colour are particularly important. So too their outfits which are embellished with beads, buttons and baubles in the brightest of colours. Mirrored tunics and hats add to the exuberance and adornment. The overall appearance with the paint, makeup and outfits can only be described as feminine from our cultural perspective.
They dance like male peacocks or other such birds who exhibit their plumage to attract females. The male beauty ideal of the Wodaabe stresses tallness, white eyes and teeth; the men will often roll their eyes and show their teeth to emphasize these characteristics. They are animists at heart and this may be why they emulate the animal kingdom.
It is a festival seen by few and we travel to a remote area of the Sahel to immerse ourselves in their traditions.