Twice a year, the Bozo, Somono, Marka and Bambara populations of Central West Mali perpetuate a long tradition of sogo (animal) mask dances. The purpose of these festivals, called Sogo bo (animal outings), is to enact original myths, legends, the cosmos and ancestors, as well as all the new things in the world. They also depict the psychology of the human character. The youth in the villages are responsible for performing the masquerades based on the information they learn from the elders.
The word kanju translates to “creativity born of struggle” or “making more with less.” Nothing could be truer of the exquisite pieces and talented artisans with whom kanju works across the African continent.
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