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  • #3903
  • African African (culture)
  • Friendly Friendly (behaviour)

Sogows are mythical beings of Mali culture that are colourful animals of folklore. They are represented in the grand masquerade performed by the Bamana and the Bozo tribes of Mali. The Sogow puppeteers show themselves to the audience before dissolving into an animal. These puppets are very large and many people can disguise themselves in one puppet. Whilst the main puppet is that of a mythical animal made up of many colours, additional puppets with rods are attached to the main body and are animated by other puppeteers in the large Sogow. The Sogow are generally 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. Some Sogow creature include Ngofariman the Chimpanzee and Ciwawa the Antelope.

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