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dance in the sacred grove of Osogbo

Shango is stronger than fire
Shango is stronger than fire

The day we visited the sacred grove, a very menacing storm had just passed and the rain was still falling gently. As we approached the last group of sculptures we heard the sound of drum beating. It was a group of colorfully dressed dancers performing in the honor of Shango. The dance took place at the feet of the statue of security.

Four drummers were creating the beat of the dance and one man a few group of girls were dancing and praising Shango, a caracter dressed in red. At some point Shango took some fire on a metal stick impregnated with fuel and swallowed it twice, showing his control of that element. He then went on bringing the flame close to his flesh: hands, arms and legs were purified by the fire one after the other.
setting the rythm 

Later on, as the rain was still falling a second set of dances took place next to another statue. This time, explained the university art professor who had interpreted Shango, it was an experiment around feminity and the role of women in society. It involved a few spirits, whose face was hidden by a piece of cloth. The spirits were dancing one after the other each within a long and colorful tunnel of cloth. There were acrobats in blue and white squared suits with a green face shade.
belly dancing
belly dancing

The last scene represented a spirit with a wooden doll that he took from under his robes and starting breast feeding with his fake breast. The man, we saw afterwards was wearing a bra and a breast was sewn on his shirt to make the movement choreography more relevant.
abreast of his new breasts
abreast of his new breasts


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