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Niger :
the Guérewol of the Fula Wodaabe People
also known as the Bororo People
Timia, Djado, etc.

The Guérewol (var. Guerewol, Gerewol) is an annual courtship ritual competition among the unwedded youth of the Wodaabe Fula people of Niger. This nuptial ritual is practiced by the Wodaabes (also called Peuls, Foulani, Fulbhés, Fulfulde, Pular or Bororo, this last appellation "Bororo" although very widely used is somewhat pejorative and has a negative connotation : it is only used by people of other ethnic groups and means "the abandoned wandering shepherds" is thus to be avoided! ). Young unmarried men dressed in elaborate ornamentation and made up in traditional face painting gather in lines to dance and sing, vying for the attentions of potentially marriageable young women. The Guérewol occurs each year as the traditionally nomadic Wodaabe cattle herders gather at the southern edge of the Sahara before dispersing south on their dry season pastures.
The most famous, but not the only, gathering point is In-Gall in northwest Niger, where a large festival, market and series of clan meetings take place for both the Wodaabe and the also nomad Tuareg people. The actual dance event is called the Yaake, while other less famous elements—bartering over dowry, competitions or camel races among suitors—make up the week-long Guérewol. The Guérewol is found wherever Wodaabe gather: from Niamey, to other places the Wodaabe travel in their transhumance cycle, as far afield as northern Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria. In general the Guérewol gatherings, or festivals, which generally last for about a week, are from mid-September to the end of October, depending on the various locations.