Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The 10th good thing about Northern Nigeria: A demonstration of a hunting ceremony

Paulette had arranged for men from the potter's village to perform a hunting ritual ceremony that is traditional in this area, normally performed at festival times. These men came in their costumes, one representing the bird, and the other the hunter.

The bird bobbed and moved while the hunter circled and took aim.

One thing I really enjoyed about this display was how much the village crowd enjoyed seeing it. Children and adults were all really into it and watched with a lot of interest and emotion.

I didn't really understand why, after the hunter had supposedly shot the bird, then the man playing the bird part got out a knife and ritually cut the neck of the hunter. I would have thought it would be the other way around. But both participants really enjoyed waving the knife at the neck of the other and pretending that they were cutting themselves or the other actor.

The kids really got into this pretend cutting part. Some seemed really worried that one of the men would actually be hurt.

But, in the end, the hunter raises his arm in victory.

Danjuma, our local guide demonstrates the local bow they use in hunting.

And Paulette shows us the locally made gun she called a "Dane gun." She said it's made using plumbing parts.

The participants wear talismans to give them luck in the hunt.


hans muys said...


The Paulette you mention, is that a Belgian ?

Carolee said...

Yes, Hans, she is Belgian and an all around talented and generous person with wonderful Nigerian experience she is willing to share. If you have the chance, get to know her!