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Kumpo Dance Masquerade
 
Culture & Traditions   Rites of Passage   Masks   Music   Dance
 
  Masquerades   Kankurang   Kumpo   Mamapara   Simba                          
 
Introduction:
The Gambia's Berending Kumpo dance originated from the 'Cassa' sub-group of the Jola tribe in the eastern most part of the Sahelian region and is a masquerade which is popularly displayed in the Foni (Fonyi) District and Casamance (Dombondier) region of Senegal. The Kumpo mask is made up of thin dried palm leaves which are beige in colour and cover the dancer from head to toe. The other feature is a stick which is secured to the performer's head which he uses to spin almost magically in fast gyrating circles while being accompanied by an ensemble of metal bells, singers and drums.

The purpose of the mask is to protect Jola villages from bad supernatural forces, co-ordinate communal works and protect males during circumcision initiation rituals time when they are perceived to be at their most vulnerable.

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