06 juillet 2015

La Mangue Bleue

                  The Blue Mango now has t-shirts.                
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05 janvier 2015

Bangas

                  Another fairly recent series of photos by a local magazine called 101 District. Mayotte is France's 101st department, so that number comes around quite a bit. Above are the boys' lodgings. At age 17 or so, the Mahorese tradition wants boys to build a cabin out of wattle and daub, or, more recently, out of corrugated iron. They carefully and brightly decorate these cabins, which then act as a home to the boy and his friends. He will bring girls back to this cabin... [Lire la suite]
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08 mai 2014

Salouva Deba

          Most Mahorese women dress in a salouva, which is a big cotton tube knotted around the chest and which falls down to the feet. Underneath the salouva, they usually wear a sparkly t-shirt, or one with artistically cut-out pieces made to resemble flowers or geometrical shapes. The most traditional ladies - generally the older ones - also wear a skirt underneath, which has a recognizable jagged bottom made of lace. The traditional Mahorese salouva is worn with a kishali on the head or over one... [Lire la suite]
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10 février 2014

Dancing Nyota

           There's been a folk-dancing workshop for the last few years here. It started the year I arrived in Mayotte, and was under the name of the Bretons de Mayotte association. Now, it's led by a man who has lived all over France, travelled all over Africa, speaks eighteen languages such as Indonesian, Malagasy, Bislama, Dioula, Wolof, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, Fulfulde and Quechua along with English, French, Italian and Portuguese, and who seems able to do anything from plaiting leaves to make... [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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25 juin 2012

Drama Queens

           The end of the school year was on Friday, June 22nd, at twelve o'clock. For a while, a French teacher called Salima and I had been preparing a short drama show with the same class, each of us blithely unknowing of what the other was doing. It was one of the kids who told each one of us what they were doing with the other, so we got together and worked out - albeit at the last minute - a three-quarters-of-an-hour-long show for the class, which would be repeated four times on the... [Lire la suite]
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07 mai 2012

Music in Mayotte

            We've been to a few concerts recently, to find out what the local music is like. First of all came Rossy, whose poster attracted P because of the accordion. Arrived at the concert a quarter of an hour before it was supposed to start, which seemed reasonable at the time. When we got there, the group was just finishing balancing the different instruments. As the concert was held in a café, a lady suddenly jumped up and started going round everybody who was there,... [Lire la suite]
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