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Wodaabe Men Dance

Also referred to as the Bororo or Mbororo, the Wodaabe comprises a small subcategory. Traditionally, they are cattle herders and traders situated in the Sahel. They migrate from the south of Niger, north of Nigeria, southwestern Chad, and northeastern Cameroon extending up to the western parts of Central African Republic. The group is so small, and by the year 2001, their total estimated population was about 100,000. Just like other communities, they have their cultures and beliefs. However, they are typically famous for their enriched cultural festivals and ceremonies as well as their elegant attire.

As depicted in the video, it is clear that men tend to take part in dances rather than singing, painting, building something, making speeches or sending gifts. In my perception, the reason men tend to dance rather than engage in other activities designed and undertaken by men is that this is a monotony. Despite the fact that it could be a cultural practice, this activity could be monotonous, in which boy children are born and brought, thus taking part in it once they are of age. They tend to do what is usually done since they were born, since they know it better, and have learned it from their parents and ancestors.

Consequently, another probable reason why men dance in the community of Wodaabe is that it could be the best pastime activity. Every person and society at large has their favourite pastime activity, with most participating in games and athletics. The men in this community perceive dancing as their perfect leisure activity and, maybe, view other activities, such as painting, as economic activities only applicable for income-generating purposes. Consequently, they may recognize singing as a norm done by women in the community while speeches are done by their elders and leaders.

Another explanation yet about why men dance rather than sing could be that it is a way of enhancing their relationships among themselves. While most people in various communities congregate in meetings aimed at strengthening their ties, the Mbororo men probably take dancing as a means of coming together and strengthening their relationships. While people attend the ceremony, they tend to meet, mingle and get to know each other better, creating a stronger bond. However, the festival, in this case, will also serve the purpose of refreshment and entertainment. While people meet and watch the men dance, they also get entertained, which serves as an additional recreation.

Reflectively, the video depicts enrichments and practices that have gone down the various generations in the community. As the men dance, they display their cultural values, which can be used to describe them. The elaborate attires make them remarkably outstanding and famous. Additionally, the dance performed by men can be a way of building and enhancing confidence amongst young men while fostering and maintaining long-lasting friendships among themselves. Being a small community, the dance may also use the ceremonies to establish and facilitate the growth and success of the population.

Taking into account that this is a nomadic group, they can use this platform to determine the next areas to go to in the search for pastures. It can be used as a briefing meeting where people are briefed on the following steps to take and what is expected of them. As the men dance, assessments of the number of men present in the community can be done. This can go a long way in creating and determining a sense of security among the members as well as deciding how various duties can be assigned to multiple men, such as which man is to lead which group.

Conclusively, other than the values and purposes mentioned above regarding the dance done by men, the community also exhibits a sense of organization and unity. The congregation during such festivals ensures that the society comes together, therefore creating a sense of organization, integration, and, most importantly, peace.



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