12 Apr Portraits of Gambian Village Chiefs & Elders ‘Silafando’ – by Jason Florio
Portraits of Gambian Village Chiefs & Elders by Jason Florio – ‘Silafando-a gift to you on behalf of my journey‘
The portraits of Gambian village chiefs & elders by Jason Florio were taken in 2009 whilst on a 930km walk. The walk was made completely by foot (‘bi tama lah singo lah’, in one of the local languages, Mandinka), around the tiny West African country of The Gambia. Silafando is the age-old tradition of travelers, in the region. Whereby, they present a small token of thanks, to the village chief – also known as ‘Alkalo‘ – for their protection and hospitality.
Camera equipment and camping gear was carried on a cart which was pulled, alternately, by two donkeys (‘Trevor’ and ‘Hadley’).
Portraits of Gambian Village Chiefs & Elders by Jason Florio
Each night was spent in a different village. Florio would present the gift of ‘Silafando‘ and ask permission to make a formal portrait of the chief and his elders.
Photographer, Jason Florio, talks about shooting his award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs, at the opening of his Brooklyn, NY, solo exhibition.
Read, and see more images, from our adventure, around The Gambia, please visit the blog ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey‘
Founder | Curator
Featured image: Jason Florio sits with Alkalo, Jare Sowe, Felling Kotto, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio