For she had eyes and chose me.
William Shakespeare, Othello
Stacks Image 19
The Wodabee, a nomadic, ethnic subgroup of the Fulani, are roaming the West African Sahel plains with their cattle herds. At the end of the rainy season, dispersed groups of herders are gathering for some days in order to celebrate Guérewol for the purpose of matchmaking.

Face painted and ornamented young men line up, sing and perform courtship like dances while they are displaying their teeth and are rolling their wide-open eyes in a trance-like manner. They are aiming to attract the attention and to win the favour of marriage-minded women who are spectating and supposed to make their choices according to their beauty ideal.

Wodabee is derived from the Fula word "woda" which means taboo. The Wodabee are considered to be those who are respecting taboos in accordance with their traditions of a pastoral community - in contrast to the majority of sedentary Fulani. Guérewol is rooted in the Fula word "yeera" which means "to look around".

The content of the gallery was realized in September 2009.

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