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Simba Masquerade of Gambia
Culture & Traditions   Rites of Passage   Masks   Music   Dance
  Masquerades   Kankurang   Kumpo   Mamapara   Simba                     
The Simba (Zimba) is a masked dance of the Wolof tribe. They are costumed entertainers and dancers, who can often been seen making ferocious performances both at festivals and programs organized on the streets of residential areas. It costs a few dalasi to watch; many children try to sneak a peak, only to be chased away with the threat of being beaten by the Simba if caught.

The Simba mask often picks audience members to this unique African dance, and if he his not pleased by their performance, he requires compensation in the form of Dalasi. Simbas are good at evoking fear in their audiences, both paying and especially non-paying—indeed, "Zimba" means "lion dancer" in Wolof.

The West African mask dancers are dressed in a cow hair mask, black and yellow paint on their faces and a costume composed of different animal furs, fabrics and shells.

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