There’s no more stunning beauty pageant in the world than the Gerewol festival. The opportunity to become a legend and win the love of a new bride.
Men of the Islamic polygamous Wodaabe tribe, an old nomad tribe considered by some to be the world’s most vain and attractive people, are competing in this pageant, not women.
Mbororo, or Bororo, is a subdivision of the Fulani ethnic group known as the Wodaabe tribe.
Sahelian cattle herders and traders, they customarily go from southern Niger across northern Nigeria and Cameroon, northeastern Cameroon, southwest Chad, and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2001, the Wodaabe Tribe’s population was estimated at 100,000. They’re well-known for their ornate costumes and illustrious religious rituals. Wikimedia has a good explanation for this.
The Gerewol celebration is a Wodaabe Tribe wife-stealing festival.
Known as The Gerewol Festival, this annual gathering of the Wodaabe tribe from the Sahel hosts possibly the world’s most intense beauty competition.
This pageant is unique in that the women are judging the guys – who are donning cosmetics and gowns. The Gerewol festival, which takes place in September, has a face-preparation time limit of up to six hours per person.
The Wodaabe tribe celebrates the Gerewol celebration in September, which marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the Wodaabe’s transhumance migration.
The Wodaabe Tribe spends most of its time travelling in tiny family groups across the arid Sahel desert in Niger. Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Nigeria.
Gerewol festival is a chance for them to catch up after months of walking over miles of dry desert — a festival of music and dance that lasts for seven days and nights.
The site of the event is normally kept under lock and key, and is only made public a few days before the actual event.
The Yaake, a mating call in which men compete for sexual supremacy in front of three female judges, is by far the most eye-catching of all the dances.
The Yakke is the centrepiece of the Gerewol celebration, when men’s status as sex gods is established or shattered in the final test of masculine power.
Six hours are spent by the males getting ready for the big moment when they can’t dance and show off like peacocks.
They cover their faces in red clay, then use black eyeliner and lipstick to draw attention to the whites of their eyes and the colour of their teeth.
Their teeth are bared in an aggressive grimace that is part of the ceremony.
Ostrich feathers are used to make them appear taller, while a white line is painted down their noses for a sharper appearance.
The wait is well worth it, as the women who have gathered to see the show are treated to a show that is nothing short of magnificent.
The men dance in a circle, standing shoulder to shoulder.
A trio of the tribe’s most attractive women, chosen because their fathers have won the Yaake in the past, evaluates the males.
Each female judge has the opportunity to select her own winner, which is rewarded with accolades and the opportunity to select other women from the tribe to join them.
The tribe’s most eligible women are also watching, hoping to find a new husband.
While their spouses are still in the house, the women might choose to be’stolen’ by one of the more attractive males.
They wait patiently for their favourite guy to walk by, and then tap them on the shoulder.
According to one of the ladies interviewed in Wodaabe Dance of Warriors, the men at Gerewol festival can tell that a woman likes them just by looking at them.
It doesn’t matter whether the women viewing already have a spouse because in the Wodaabe polygamous tribe, women are allowed to have multiple husbands.
In the Wodaabe tribe, women hold all of the sex power.
When it comes to having sex, single women have complete freedom.
Traditional koogal and teegal marriages take place when the pair are children, but they can also be arranged by their families if they are attracted to each other.
Until she becomes pregnant, a bride lives with her husband; after that, she returns to her mother’s house.
When she becomes a ‘boofeydo,’ which means’someone who has made a mistake,’ she gives birth to the child in her mother’s house.
While she is boofeydo, her husband is forbidden from contacting her or showing any interest in her or the child.
Visiting her husband is allowed after two to three years, but living with him or bringing the child is still forbidden; this is only permitted when her mother has managed to purchase all of the furnishings required for her house.
But by that time, the woman may be ready for a second marriage, and it’s all about the looks for the second time around.
Those who speak Fula and raise Zebu cattle, the Wodaabe, are the most self-conscious among African tribes and believe they are the most beautiful.
It is stated that a man’s pocket mirror is a need for a gentleman.
A tribal woman noticed that “a woman with an ugly husband will try to flee.”
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Males, in contrast to females, have far less power over sexual relations.
Neither they nor their wives have any control over whether a woman will leave them for another man if she falls in love with them.
As a result, not all husbands agree to let their wives attend the Gerewol celebration.
“The Gerewol event is for fun,” a Wodaanbe male said to National Geographic. ‘It’s fine if I get a woman,’ he said.
Another, on the other hand, was much more concerned about his wife’s theft.
All of us put on makeup and dress up. Finding other women and taking them into the wilderness is what I enjoy most.’
In the course of his life, one man boasted that he had snatched 30 spouses.
“You know, snatching spouses is not an easy thing,” one tribesman stated. ‘The Wodaabe know!’ If you steal a lady from someone else, she will give birth to sons and even grandchildren for you and your family. ‘Only the Wodaabe are capable of accomplishing that.’
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Source Credit: Dailymail Uk