Beauty cult of Wodaabe men
Also known as the Bororo, Wodaabe is a small ethnic Fulani Subgroup in Niger, West Africa. According to their own legend, they came from the upper basin of the Nile, and their exact origin is still invokes a debate among scientists. While some say they are from Ethiopia, others – from Egypt. However, Wodaabe themselves see as their predecessors two brothers – Ali and Degereejo. They zealously preserve their traditions and purity of blood and rarely marry someone who is not of their tribe. First of all, a man of the tribe is valued for his beauty. Besides, beauty cult makes them consider themselves the most beautiful people in the world.
In fact, Wodaabe culture, history, traditions are the center of their lives. Due to their nomadic way of life, they have escaped the effects of colonization and modernization of Africa today. Noteworthy, Bororo man can have several wives. Besides, marriages of young often take the form of “voluntary abduction” when a man and woman agree to escape. Interestingly, married women, not particularly happy in marriage with their current husbands, can change him to another man. However, if she leaves her husband’s house, she is also obliged to leave her children.
Meanwhile, Yaake or competition in charm, requires a lot of time to prepare. Men devote many hours to Yaake, in particular, they deal do bright makeup, and dress clothes, which consider the highlight of all their beauty. Besides, pale yellow paint applied to the face, and a black kohl – emphasizes tooth and eyeballs whiteness. And the line on the face – from the forehead to the chin helps to visually lengthen the nose.
First, preparing for competition men gather together, shoulder to shoulder, and start dancing. Together they come forward on tiptoe and try to presented their beauty. For this, they roll their eyes, shake their cheeks, grinning. In addition, they lighten up, shake and wrinkle their lips. Especially appreciated a man who knows how to turn his right eye in both directions (clockwise and against it). Men are measured by their charm, magnetism and personality. This contest is not to win, but participation in it.
Degereejo dance – is the most significant and prestigious dance in celebration. It is attended by only the most beautiful men. They also have prepared for it: narrow white skirts to the knee, white strands of beads on his bare chest, turbans, adorned with ostrich feathers and cowrie shells. So, with their faces painted red, they dance and sing for two hours in a rather frantic pace.
However, those who feel that they can not pass the test, voluntarily reject it. While those who remain, periodically change ostrich feathers on horses’ manes, which represent a new stage of the competition. Meanwhile, dance becomes even more difficult, more wild, and more intense. Then, another stage of the competition, called beauty match. Traditionally, judges are three unmarried women, previously elected for their beauty by elders. So, they meticulously watch dancers. In turn, the men try to get attention by facial expressions and movements of bodies. The beauty of men, according to the tribe, is the following: he should be tall and with graceful movements of the flexible limbs. Besides, he should have long, straight hair arranged in a beautiful hairstyle and bright, soft skin. Also he should have thin nose, thin lips, dazzling white teeth and whites of the eyes, a long face, high forehead, long fingers, big eyes and a long neck.
As soon as the young women make their choice, they slowly creep up to the dancers, knock them to the ground and brutally master them:). Winners receive a sense of personal satisfaction, and are worshiped by other men and women.
Beauty cult of Wodaabe men