Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Zaouli de Manfla: The Zaouli dance of the Ivory Coast, West Africa

Zaouli de Manfla, a mask dance from the Gouro or Kweni culture, filmed by African dance teacher Konan Kouakou David in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Of the tradition, he writes:

Zaouli is a popular mask dance created by Gouros in the fifties. Legends at the origin of the Zaouli mask and dance are diverse, but all say that they were inspired by a very beautiful girl named “Djela Lou Zaouli”, daugther of Zaouli…

Each Gouro village has its local Zaouli dancer, who performs during funerals or parties. A musicians and singers orchestra first call the Zaouli dancer by its music. The dancer wearing the mask covered by a cloth then arrives after a predecessor who unveils the mask. After the beauty of the mask has been shown to the audience, the dancer performs extremely quick and rhythmical steps according to the flutes of the orchestra. Hands and feet follow a common choreography improvised by the dancer according to the music.

Watch more examples of Zaouli dancing in this short by The Mask Collective:

Watch more videos about costumes and dance traditions, including Māori dancers of New Zealand performing a Haka dance and San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers.

h/t Boing Boing.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

The Chinese Dragon Dance for Shanghai’s Spring Festival

Rion Nakaya

The Chamarrita & more: A Música Portuguesa a gostar dela própria

Rion Nakaya

Two professors sculpt each other in less than ten minutes

Rion Nakaya

Re:Rosas, the trailer: A global dance community is formed

Rion Nakaya

Cara de Diablo: Felipe Horta’s handcrafted masks

Rion Nakaya

The Lion King’s animal costumes behind-the-scenes

Rion Nakaya

A T.rex Dances Ballet

Rion Nakaya

Buffalo Dance by the Serpent Trail Dance Group

Rion Nakaya

A Continuous Shape: Stonecarver Anna Rubincam creates a portrait

Rion Nakaya