Ngofariman

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  • #2436
  • African African (culture)
  • Troublesome Troublesome (behaviour)

A trickster chimpanzee with evil intentions. In Mali at festivals, someone would dress up as the Ngofariman and play tricks on people in the crowds. He is one of the many mythical beings known as the Sogow which are colourful mythical animals. This myth is popularized in masquerades where a puppeteer will first appear to an audience and then hide away and animate a puppet of an animal such as Ngofariman. This animal takes on the personality of the puppeteer. These puppets are very large and many people can disguise themselves in one puppet. Ngofariman is accompanied by dancers who wear masks and are dressed up to represent other animals and mythical beings. Dancers in the Sogow puppet cannot see through their costume and so a guide is needed to help them dance and act in the arena. Ngofariman is one of the most popular Sogow and is a central character to the stories reenacted during the masquerades.

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