Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dancing with the Bondo Devil

© by Chad Finer

This is one of my favorite pictures from my Sierra Leone days. Taken at a small village called Tokpombu in the Nongowa Chiefdom - for me it shows the joy that was a part of the Bondo festivities in those days. Here the Bondo spirit or devil dances with a few women from the village as others watch including Susan who can be seen in the left of the picture (she has eye glasses on). Tokpombu was a roadside village about 1 mile from where we lived. I remember this being on a Sunday and in the late afternoon. As was usual we were warned that there was going to be a celebration and as usual I went with my camera. The public transport in the background sits on Dama Road - the lorry faces toward Kenema in this picture. Beside Susan in this picture there is Salimatu Tholé Karanké who was of the Temne ethnic group and who lived across from us at Mama Hokey's house (in those days #55 Dama Rd). Salimatu can be seen second from the left and behind Susan. In front of Susan and carrying a young child is Baindu Lansana (in the short dress) - she was a student of ours at HRSS and lived also in Mama Hokey's house. The day was overcast and as usual quite humid. Probably taken in early 1970.

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