The Kankurang, Traditional Masquerades of The Gambia, West Africa
The Kankurang – a secret society 0f traditional masquerades – used in traditional Mandinka initiation rites, whose rituals can be seen all over The Gambia, and Senegal, West Africa. Images/footage ©Helen Jones-Florio and award-winning photographer, Jason Florio
masquerades, Kankurang, photography prints, fine art, vimeo, gallery, tradition, cultural , animism, Gambia, West Africa, Helen Jones-Florio, Jason Florio, color, interior design, large format, limited edition, hospitality art
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Travel: Traditional Masquerades of The Gambia, West Africa

Kankurang with machetes - Traditional Masquerade, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

Travel: Traditional Masquerades of The Gambia, West Africa

 

The Kankurang, Traditional Masquerade – The Gambia, West Africa

 

The Kankurang – a secret society of traditional masquerades – used in traditional Mandinka initiation rites, whose rituals can be seen all over The Gambia, and Senegal, West Africa.

We happened upon this scene, of a Kunkurang, whilst visiting old friends in a small village in The Gambia. I’ve been working with the HJF Gallery photographer, Jason Florio, on photographing these traditional masquerades for a number of years. However, it’s always interesting to happen across another version of the ‘Kankurang’, on our travels. Particularly, in the creative way that the boys use different kinds of materials to make their outfits. This particular masquerade costume was made of rice sacks, cut into strips, and stitched together. See more of our work on masquerades here 

 

 

The Kankarang, Traditional Masquerade, The Gambia – footage ©Helen Jones-Florio

Despite the fact that the Gambia is a predominantly Muslim country, the animist fuelled masquerade ceremonies pre-date the arrival of Islam and are still tolerated and practiced around the country. Animism is an intriguing subject. Based on the belief that animals and inanimate objects, such as trees, possess a soul, or a spiritual essence. Furthermore, the juxtaposition between the urban environment and these ancient traditions is fascinating to witness.

A young boy in traditional masquerade costume lounges on a bed, The Gambia, West Africa: Color photography print - 'Small Devil Masquerade' ©Jason Florio

‘Small Devil Masquerade’ – fine art photography prints ©Jason Florio

 

View Jason Florio’s ‘World Glance’ gallery – ‘Small Devil Masquerade‘ limited edition fine art photography prints are available in small-large format prints. Please contact the gallery for all print sale inquiries. Or, everything you need to know about buying our photography prints:  Print Orders.

 

Helen Jones-Florio

Founder | Curator

 

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Header image of the (red) Kankurang ©Helen Jones-Florio

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