Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
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 award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

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

Rion Nakaya

The Art of Gem Carving

Rion Nakaya

Buffalo Dance by the Serpent Trail Dance Group

Rion Nakaya

FOLI: There is no movement without rhythm

Rion Nakaya

A Continuous Shape: Stonecarver Anna Rubincam creates a portrait

Rion Nakaya

Artist Li Hongbo’s incredible paper sculptures

Rion Nakaya

Two professors sculpt each other in less than ten minutes

Rion Nakaya