Scary in love

There are so many ways man has developed to woo his beloved; flowers, romance, a yatch but this is just scary. The Guerewol is an annual courtship ritual competition among the Wodaabe Fula people of Niger. Young men dressed in elaborate ornamentation and made up in traditional face painting gather in lines to dance and sing, vying for the attentions of marriageable young women. The Guerewol occurs each year as the traditionally nomadic Wodaabe cattle herders gather at the southern edge of the Sahara before dispersing south on their dry season pastures. The most famous gathering point is In-Gall in northwest Niger, where a large festival, market and series of clan meetings take place for both the Wodaabe and the pastoral Tuareg people. The actual dance event is called the Yaake, while other less famous elements—bartering over dowry, competitions or camel races among suitors—make up the week-long Guerewol. The Guerewol is found wherever Wodaabe gather: from Niamey, to other places the Wodaabe travel in their transhumance cycle, as far afield as northern Cameroon and even down here in Nigeria.

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