"People Of The Taboo" Niger 1999

At the end of the rainy season in September, Wodaabe clans gather in several traditional locations, before the beginning of their dry season migration. The best known of these is In-Gall's Cure Salée salt market, and Tuareg seasonal festival. Here the young Wodaabe men, with elaborate make-up, feathers, and other adornments, perform the Yaake: dances, and songs, to impress marriageable women. The male beauty ideal of the Wodaabe stresses tallness, white eyes, and teeth; the men will often roll their eyes, and show their teeth to emphasize these characteristics. Wodaabe clans then join for the remainder of the week-long Guérewol, a series of barters over marriage and contests, where the young men's beauty and skills are judged by young women.
Getting Ready"Yaake" DancerFacial contortionTraditional face paintingCure Salée festivalFermented barkShowing teethGuérewol competitionsHypnotic traditionStaminaBloodshot eyes"Festival of the Nomads"Almost readyApplying makeupFacial featuresElegant faceElaborate makeupMagical propertiesRolling eyes