Maramba Crafts Village

near The Smoke That Thunders

A boys' initiation ceremony was re-enacted. Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4 The actual circumcision was not performed, thank goodness. After 33 years, I'm afraid I've forgotten what each dancer represented, although I do have two masks I bought - not street-hawker type copies but what I call "genuine facsimiles". They could be bought only at this place. One is of Nalindele. This was worn by a (male) dancer who climbed up a tree and performed a complex trapeze/ high wire ritual on a piece of rope slung to the adjacent tree. The mask itself is, to European eyes, rather terrifying. I have used it in my creative writing classes for adults, and had all kinds of responses. It inevitably leads to a debate about the definition of "beauty" and "ugliness", when I tell them that this mask is beautiful.