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A photo of a Zaouli de Manfla dancer mid-performance. He is wearing an orange mask and is surrounded by a circle of villagers.

Daily Helping for February 18th, 2023 – Zaouli de Manfla

Today I’m continuing my journey around the world through dance with this incredible video from the Ivory Coast. The dance is called the Zaouli de Manfla, and it is a traditional masked dance of the Guro people. Every village has an appointed Zaouli dancer who performs at special events throughout the year. While the dancers are always male, the masks themselves are inspired by a girl named Djela Lou Zaouli, and therefore they are meant to represent feminine beauty. The dancing itself is very fast and rhythmical, and it is always accompanied by live music.

Of course, I should note that everything I just said above comes from Google. I’ve never actually seen a Zaouli de Manfla dance in person, but I hope I can one day. The atmosphere in this video feels electric, so I can only imagine it’s an incredible thing to witness.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!