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Zaouli Dance (Zaouli de Manfla) 2020-2022

Enjoy a unique and fascinating dancing tradition of the Gouro people


Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Zaouli de Manfla is a traditional mask dance of the Gouro people of the central Ivory Coast. There are lots of legends about the origin of this tradition, but all of them talk about a beautiful girl called Djela Lou Zaouli. The mask represents feminine beauty and has lots of colors and amazing features.

Every village of Gouro people has its Zaouli dancer. Usually, the dancers perform on the funerals, various festivals, and parties. Musicians and singers of the orchestra call the dancer with the music. The Dancer arrives with the mask, which is covered with the cloth. Later on, when the cloth is taken off, and the audience sees the beauty of the mask, the dancer starts to move very fast and rhythmical. Hands and feet move very quickly. This is an amazing way to dive into the culture and traditions of the local people.

Every year dancers compete at the Fêtes des Masques, which is one of the biggest festivals on the Ivory Coast.

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