Wodaabe, Niger, Sept 23 - Nov 22, 2005

Picture Index

d2023_raw.jpg  Wodaabe arrive at the General Assembly. Some rode for days to get here. d2046_raw.jpg  A Bodadoo, singular for Wodaabe, with a finely wrapped geefu (turban) d2057_raw.jpg  Prepare for the dance d2070_raw.jpg  Prepare for the dance d2065_raw.jpg  Prepare for the dance d2082_raw.jpg  A man's wealth is measured by the number of cattle, wives, and children he has. A woman's wealth is measured by the number and quality of her decorated calabashes. The festival time is when you show off your proudest possessions in front of your friends and relatives. d2088_raw.jpg  Wodaabe women d2098_raw.jpg  The Omala dance - men stand in a big circle, singing and clapping in unison. d2106_raw.jpg  Accessorize, accessorize d2121_raw.jpg  An elder, probably a fine dancer when he was young, gets in the middle of the ring to set the rhythm and cheer the dancers on. d2131_raw.jpg  Omala d2155_raw.jpg  Wodaabe set up temporary shelters at the festival. d2157_raw.jpg  Women in their party clothes d2159_raw.jpg  A meeting of the clan elders attracted plenty of curious onlookers. d2168_raw.jpg  A shaved forehead is a beautiful forehead. d2169_raw.jpg  A shaved forehead is a beautiful forehead. d2177_raw.jpg  Camels rest next to the camps. d2180_raw.jpg  Saddles are left out in the open unattended. Theft is pretty much unknown in Wodaabe country. d2188_raw.jpg  The 7-foot tribe - the shortest guy in the picture is about 6'5". d2210_raw.jpg  Spectators d2211_raw.jpg  The Yatche dance is usually performed in midday with dancers standing in a half-circle and charming the viewers by rolling their eyes and flashing their teeth. d2218_raw.jpg  Yatche d2225_raw.jpg  Yatche d2229_raw.jpg  Yatche d2233_raw.jpg  Yatche d2252_raw.jpg  d2267_raw.jpg  To make the dance more exciting, old women tease and taunt the dancers. d2299_raw.jpg  Camel's eye view d2336_raw.jpg  d2337_raw.jpg  The approaching sandstorm at sunset gives the sky an orange hue which blends perfectly with the rider's robe. d2365_raw.jpg  Yatche d2384_raw.jpg  Yatche d2410_raw.jpg  d2451_raw.jpg  Yatche d2457_raw.jpg  If you like camels, this is THE place to be. d2480_raw.jpg  d2481_raw.jpg  To get your dream girl you have to be either a pretty boy or a d#$% good camel jockey. d2501_raw.jpg  d2513_raw.psd  d2534_raw.jpg  d2573_raw.jpg  Young men race around the festival ground to show off their riding skills. d2633_raw.psd  d2725_jpg.jpg  Today's uniform is purple robe and white turban. Guirgui and his friends wait at the finish line of the camel race. d2742_raw.jpg  Sandstorm d2840_jpg.jpg  Pretty boys are more likely to be picked. One-night stand in the woods is quite common. d2853_jpg.jpg  The Wodaab General Assembly of 2005 lasted seven days and was well-organized and well-run. After seven exhausting and fruitful days, fruitful indeed, guests leave the festival on camels and horses. d2875_raw.jpg  Jura, Guirgui's first wife, and the kids d2926_raw.jpg  d2940_raw.jpg  d2968_raw.jpg  d2999_raw.jpg  d3013_raw_bc.jpg  d3016_raw.jpg  d3025_raw.jpg  d3039_raw.jpg  d3044_raw.jpg  d3053_raw.jpg  d3058_raw.jpg  d3109_raw.jpg  d3129_raw.jpg  d3134_raw.jpg  d3153_raw.jpg  d3157_raw.jpg  d3174_raw.jpg  d3179_raw.jpg  d3205_raw.jpg  d3210_raw.jpg  d3222_raw.jpg  d3227_raw.jpg  d3258_raw.jpg  d3273_raw.jpg  d3303_raw.jpg  d3308_raw.jpg  d3324_raw.jpg  d3328_raw.jpg  d3351_raw.jpg  d3360_raw.jpg  d3382_raw.jpg  d3402_raw.jpg  d3424_raw.jpg  d3429_raw.jpg  d3432_raw.jpg  d3440_raw.jpg  d3455_raw.jpg  d3462_raw.jpg  d3470_raw.jpg  d3483_raw.jpg  d3506_raw.jpg  Baya milks the cow. d3517_raw.jpg  Everything needed to sustain a Wodaabe family - bed, table, cooking pot, and nursing cows to give you plenty of milk. d3518_raw.jpg  My tent, water supply for two weeks, and a four-legged visitor. d3522_raw.jpg  Milk and millet was my main diet for two months. d3534_raw.jpg  d3552_raw.jpg  d3556_raw.jpg  d3578_raw.jpg  d3584_raw.jpg  d3592_raw.jpg  d3606_raw.jpg  d3623_raw.jpg  d3658_raw.jpg  d3692_raw.jpg  d3693_raw.jpg  d3704_raw.jpg  d3713_raw.jpg  d3718_raw.jpg  Cows come home before sunset and sleep right next to people. d3738_raw.jpg  d3742_raw.jpg  d3750_raw.jpg  d3780_raw.jpg  d3782_raw.jpg  d3809_raw.jpg  Lack of clean drinking water is one of the main health concerns. d3810_raw.jpg  People and animals all drink from the same pond. d3812_raw.jpg  d3815_raw.jpg  d3837_raw.jpg  d3875_raw.jpg  d3887_raw.jpg  d3934_raw.jpg  d3938_raw.jpg  d3960_raw.jpg  d3985_raw.jpg  d3992_raw.jpg  d4008_raw.jpg  d4029_raw.jpg  d4051_raw.jpg  d4059_raw.jpg  d4074_raw.jpg  d4104_raw.jpg  d4128_raw.jpg  d4134_raw.jpg  d4604_raw.jpg  d4617_raw.jpg  d4643_raw_bc.jpg  d4647_raw.jpg  d4769_raw.jpg  d4924_raw.jpg  d4967_raw.jpg  d5059_raw.jpg  d5121_raw.jpg  If you are wearing a skirt, hop on the donkey from its head. d5141_raw.jpg  d5168_raw.jpg  d5225_raw.jpg  d5273_raw.jpg  d5383_jpg.jpg  d5426_raw.jpg  d5441_raw.jpg  d5460_raw.jpg  d5471_raw.jpg  d5513_raw.jpg  d5526_raw.jpg  Jura makes the thread that she will use later to sew the sheepskin waterbag. d5531_raw.jpg  With the tea brewing in the bonga, Dabu sews the sheepskin waterbag. d5558_raw.jpg  Dabu fills the finalu with kolh. d5727_raw.jpg  d5732_raw.jpg  d5793_raw.jpg  d5794_raw.jpg  d5803_raw.jpg  d5839_raw.jpg  d5850_raw.jpg  d5853_raw.jpg  d5854_raw.jpg  d5872_raw.jpg  d5874_raw.jpg  d5906_raw.jpg  d5922_raw.jpg  d5935_raw.jpg  d5974_raw.jpg  d5983_raw.jpg  d5992_raw.jpg  d6003_raw.jpg  d6009_raw.jpg  d6011_raw.jpg  d6017_raw.jpg  d6098_raw.jpg  d6260_raw.jpg  d6264_raw.jpg  d6278_raw.jpg  d6284_raw.jpg  d6461_raw.jpg  d6547_raw.jpg  d6585_raw.jpg  d6600_raw.jpg  d6621_raw.jpg  d6662_raw.jpg  d6692_raw.jpg  d6724_raw.jpg  d6813_jpg.jpg  d6850_jpg.jpg  d6900_jpg.jpg  d6905_jpg.jpg  d6925_jpg.jpg  d6931_jpg.jpg  d6936_jpg.jpg  d6953_jpg.jpg  d6990_jpg.jpg  d6991_jpg.jpg  d7021_jpg.jpg  d7061_jpg.jpg  d7194_jpg.jpg  d7197_jpg.jpg  d7238_jpg.jpg  d7244_jpg.jpg  d7247_jpg.jpg  d7372_raw.jpg  On my last day in Niger I took the women and kids to the Niamey zoo. Anatu,  Guirgui's third wife, and Hajara, his sister-in-law, were facinated by the hippo. d7399_raw.jpg  I bought a scarf and a skirt when I was in the bush and Hajara was more than happy to model them for me.

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