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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #1
Sokotocaliphate
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The Wodaabe: Herdsmen of the sun

The Wodaabe aka Herdsmen of the sun



The Wodaabes are a Nomadic clan scattered across the Sahel belonging to the Fulani ethnic group. The majority of the Wodaabes can be found in Niger republic - followed by neighbouring Northern Nigeria - where most of the Gerewol (beauty pagent) are hosted especially in InGall. Their neighbours call them "Bororo" which denotes cattle in reference to their common occupation of cattle herding another meaning labels them as herdsmen in tatters. They proudly call themselves 'Wodaabes' which means people of the taboo or those under the taboo of purity. They consider themselves the most beautiful people on earth.

Beauty is very important, celebrated and central to these people. In fact beauty is very essential to the fabric of their culture and cohesion. The Wodaabes have a high respect for beauty and every year host a beauty pageant for men - lucky women! - where the winners prize is er.....let's say a romp in the bush.

Now before I continue as Africans and to be specific as Nigerians the defination and standard of beauty varies from North to South, East to West, ethnic to ethnic and clan to clan. So what is considered beautiful to a Wodaabe may not be deemed as such in the eyes of a Kalabari or persons from their very own ethnic group such as the Sokoto Fulanis. In fact the Wodaabes are despised by their neighbours including their Fula kinsmen...they also practise a loose version of Islam.

The parameter of beauty appreciated by the women are men that are tall, slim but toned, white teeth, symetrical face etc. The men in a way are like peacocks, flaunting and flashing their beauty in order to win their female counterpart.

I personally feel that the Gerewol is probably the most rigourous and toughest beauty pageant in the world. The men have to prepare for hours adorning themselves in colourful make up to make their face glisten in the sun in order to reflect their beauty. They also blacken their lips so that their teeth will appear whiter. They braid their hair and sport many fancy head gear. During the many many hours they spend labouring preparing themselves some of them practise their singing. The men are also judged by the merit of their voice.
So for hours under the scorching heat lined side by side the young men will sing and project themselves by fluttering their eyeballs, rotating their faces in order for it to gleam in the sun and dancng along to this routine for hours. If the event takes it toll on the men well they can drop out but obviously they will miss out on the prize. This practise may be seen as effeminate by those of us who are alien to their culture but all this decoration is to emphasise the males beauty.

Three young girls will be the judge and each will pick their winner where they will spend the night with the person. The many losers will have to wait for the next Gerewol to impress. Now the men chosen and the men competing are very likely to be married themselves but the Wodaabes are quite sexually loose and promiscious, even a Wodaabe married woman can have lovers.

Despite this peculiar tradition the Wodaabes are ironically the archetype Fulani - they are Nomads still and forge on with their lives in the harsh Sahel. They are strong and brave people that hail from great kingdoms who have not compromised their way of life for many years but as urbanisation, desertification(the Sahara is slowly heading South sweeping along its habaitants) and development occurs there is bound to be those that will eventually conform, for now they are content with their lifestyle and for this long western civilisation has not been able to challenge it in fact many westerners marvel at them.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:27 AM   #2
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Wodaabe men preparation







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This song is sung in the Yaake dance by the Wodaabe



Wodaabe men perform

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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #3
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Some people are so enthralled by this group that they have been rendered a tourist attraction. There have been many documentaries about these people, and heres is a famous one:



Tourist witnessing the Gerewol



Wodaabe men line up for the pageant






Last edited by Sokotocaliphate; January 26th, 2011 at 04:58 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:46 AM   #4
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Wodaabe women

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The last pic of the three girls look as if they are being forced to get married lol
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Old January 26th, 2011, 03:08 AM   #5
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The immaculate fashion:

Head wraps





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Old January 26th, 2011, 03:13 AM   #6
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Hairstyles





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Old January 26th, 2011, 03:18 AM   #7
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Garments







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Old January 26th, 2011, 03:25 AM   #8
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Jewellery







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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #9
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Gaynaako (The Herdsman)
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #10
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Traditional song sung by Fula Wodaabe women about their choice of beautiful man
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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:41 AM   #11
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they are just pristinely beautiful
They speak a mixture of Hausa, and something I seem not to get well.Maybe Fula?.....
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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #12
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The make up that the Wodaabe men use to decorate their faces are symbolic too.

Red ochre, which coats the face, is associated with blood and violence and so only used on special occasions. Yellow clay, used by some dancers to paint patterns on the face, is the colour of magic and transformation.

And black, to darken lips and emphasise eyes, is a favourite hue, partly because it is the opposite of white - the colour of loss and death,

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12215138

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@Naijaborn yes they are, the first time I saw them I was in awe - It's funny they have not travelled the whole distance of this globe but their claim that they are 'the most beautiful people in the world' could be possible lol and they are strikingly tall.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:50 AM   #13
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This was quite a good Hausa/Fulani film that depicted the Gerewol in the movie. During the Gerewol a Wodaabe woman picks a witness instead of one of the competing Wodaabe men and thus they are made to marry eachother.

Fast forward to 4:08 to view the scene

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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:56 AM   #14
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Maan....And their teeth are soo Set and whitish....
I envy envy!! .... lol
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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:06 AM   #15
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Narcissistic much? gotta say though: cute chics!
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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel107 View Post
Narcissistic much? gotta say though: cute chics!
Some people believe that they are the strongest in the world wheras some believe that they are the cleverest, the wealthiest etc. I wouldn't really call them narcissitic even though beauty is of a high regard in their culture. Despite the work they must do they appear care-free.

Although I heard that if a Wodaabe male deems another man to be more attractive than he is then he may kindly ask his wife to procreate with that beautiful man...it could just be a rumour lol

...yeah and I gotta say though:cute men

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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel107 View Post
You'll love to venture into the bush with that second guy in the first video huh? stop encouraging their craft . Those boys need to quit trying to look cute and work the earth or something... The ****** ratio in that population should be a very interesting statistic.
Yes most definately
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Old January 26th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #18
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Samuel this might be of interest to you

1. Forms of Marriage
There two different forms of marriage:
A) Betrothal arrangements made by parents when Wodaabe children are around 2-4 years. This form of marriage can only take place between people of the same lineage. Most of the time Wodaabe marry cousins. In this type of marriage, known as Koobgal, the woman along with her heritage does not leave the patri-lineage.

B) The second form of marriage is more important, that of love marriage. Known as Teegal, couples involved in this type of marriage are allowed to marry across clans and chose their partners based on freewill. In this case, the woman leaves her first husband and group and “runs away” with the other man; although not entirely severing the ties with her first husband. In contrast to the first form, the woman in this form is considered to have “ran away” from her lineage.

Most Wodaabe experience two or more Koobgal and Teegal in their lifetime. Some would even prefer to have them both at the same time. The Wodaabes are one of the few societies in the world where both man and women can be married to two people simultaneously. This is known as Sigisbesim.

Link:http://sc2218.wetpaint.com/page/WoDa...p+and+Marriage


Last edited by Sokotocaliphate; January 26th, 2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #19
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2. Mate selection

....Moreover, there is also sacred dance at night which is guided on basis of "natural" physical beauty alone. Men normally do not apply make-up during this night dance. Only men who are confident enough of their own looks will participate in this dance. By midnight, couples would have been paired up and they would spend the night in the bushes together. After a week of dancing and several nights together, the new to the men’s home and be married. Thereafter, the Wodaabe nomadic life continues.It is common that Wodaabe men "steal" women, but if the women refuse to be taken by the men they would be allowed to return home. ‘Wife stealing’ may thus last for a night, few months or a lifetime. After marriage, the man will be a hero in his own family and clan while his bride’s clan will despise him for their loss of a valuable and pretty young woman.

This ceremony of weaving charm and enchantment occurs on a 52 week cycle. Dates and location of the ceremony as often kept secret until just before the event. It is thought of as a marriage market, a Wodaabe celebration of love and beauty.

Besides the Yaki dance (normally take place after the rainy season), there are also other more common forms of dances that take place year around such as the Ruume dance which takes place during the rainy season. These “lower” form of dances are also avenues for man and woman to initiate courtship and marriage. Also common amongst these dances is the act of flirting. At the end of the rainy season in September, Wodaabe clans gather in several traditional locations before the beginning of their dry season transhumance migration. The best known of these is In-Gall's Cure Salée salt market and Tuareg seasonal festival. Here the young Wodaabe men, with elaborate make-up, feathers and other adornments, perform the Yaake: dances and songs to impress eligible women. Wodaabe clans then join for the remainder of the week-long Geerewol: a series of barters over marriage and contests where the young men's beauty and skills are judged by young women once again.

Link: http://sc2218.wetpaint.com/page/WoDa...p+and+Marriage

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Old January 26th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #20
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3. Sexuality and Marriage Norms

The Wodaabe are sexually liberal; unmarried girls may have sex whenever and with whomever they wish.(damn I wish I belonged to this group)

The Wodaabe practice polygamy, for both men and women. The first marriage is typically arranged among members of the same lineage by parents when the couple are infants (called koogal); later additional "love marriages" (teegal) are also possible, when a woman leaves her husband and joins another one. A bride stays with her husband until she becomes pregnant after which she returns to her mother's home, where she will remain for the next three to four years. She will deliver the baby at her mother's home and then she becomes a boofeydo which literally means, "someone who has committed an error."

Link: http://sc2218.wetpaint.com/page/WoDa...p+and+Marriage

image hosted on flickr

Last edited by Sokotocaliphate; January 26th, 2011 at 11:37 AM.
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