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.