17 novembre 2014


                                      The 11th of November was Armistice Day. A bank holiday. I'd been looking forward to sleeping in and having a nice lazy day, knowing I would be playing bridge in the evening and that I had a bit of marking to do. A colleague of mine, however, didn't quite see it that way. He had invited two kids per class to come to the Armistice Ceremony, celebrated on the small island at 8.30, and... [Lire la suite]

23 juillet 2012

Ben and Toirfia

                                  We went to our Very First Grand Wedding on Friday. Just part of it. Grand Weddings in Mayotte generally take place in the austral winter months, read from June to September. Weddings here are very ritualised occasions. For months before the wedding, the girl's family must completely furnish a house for her, the boy's family must prepare a suitcase full of clothes and accessories which he will give to the... [Lire la suite]
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09 juillet 2012

M'biwi Contest

                   On a Sunday at the end of last month, there was the 2nd M'biwi Contest. M'biwi is a ceremony which is generally practised during weddings or other big occasions. It's a women's ceremony. They sit on the floor and bang two pieces of bamboo together to emit a clacking sound, and by hitting the sticks twice or three times each, they create various rythms, ta-TAC-ta-ta-TAC or TAC-a-tac-a-tac. They often sit in a ring, and two women at a time get up and dance facing... [Lire la suite]
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15 décembre 2011

Bouéni Jolie

              You often see girls and women here with m’zindzano on their faces. It’s a beauty mask made from sandalwood ground on a pure coral table, mixed with a little water. The table is made of one piece of coral, and often weighs 3 or 4 kilograms. It is the fine grain of the coral which makes the sandalwood powder fine and fluid, but they also use dried leaves and flowers, especially myongo, a stick which comes out of the central stalk of a palm leaf. It is... [Lire la suite]
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25 septembre 2011

Dress codes

At the airport          The traditional dress here is called a salouva, and they have a turban on their head, known as a kishali, often just worn as a scarf over the head. It’s all very colourful, though probably not terribly practical. Salouvas are made from three lengths of material sewn together, basically a long tube of material which is about 1m50 in diameter. Girls and women here wrap themselves in this material, knotting it in front. The salouvas don’t seem to stay up that well, as... [Lire la suite]
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