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Photographer's Note

The main reason that I decided to go with the organized tour to Senegal was a visit to Bassari country.
The Bassari Country and its Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes, located in the southeast of Senegal, is a well-preserved multicultural landscape which emerged from the interaction of human activities and the natural environment. It aggregates three geographical areas: the Bassari–Salémata area, the Bedik–Bandafassi area and the Fula–Dindéfello area, each one with its specifics morphological characteristics.

In 2012, the Bassari Country with its Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The Bedick, or Bedik, are a minority ethnic group of Africa. They live in villages in the most isolated area of eastern Senegal, in the Arrondissement of Bandafassi.[2] Iwol is one of their settlements.

The Bedick speak the Bedik language and their religion is a blend between their animist roots and a more recent Christian influence. More connected with Guinea Conakry or Mali than with Senegal, Bedick people have contact with other ethnic groups like Bassari and Serer. Their ancestors are the families Keita and Camera that came from Mali because of the War led by Alpha Yaye coming from Fouta Djalon.

They live in remote places but of course, not as remote that we couldn't get there. But it was quite tiresome trekking. All inhabitants came to meet us, the chief of the villages told very interesting stories from history and legends. There came an old woman, they told she was 108 years old, how could they know? The visit of tourists is for them the occasion to show their original products and to sell something. Unique were the masks that are worn in initiation celebrations. Usually, I do not buy anything, but here I bought a mask and two wooden figures.

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The village on the map.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10636 W: 146 N: 26799] (128489)
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