© by Chad Finer
I took a series of 3 or 4 photos of this young Bondo Girl with the Bondo Devil. I remember it as being in the village of Bitema, which was a Dama roadside village on the road to Dama Chiefdom from Kenema. I have little recollection of the circumstances yet I suspect that one of our neighbors had given me warning that there would be Bondu activity here and I must have walked the 3 or so miles to the village to see what was going on. In this photo the Bondo Devil appears to be caring for the Bondu initiate who is dressed simply during this stage of initiation. Other village women come to have a look - I suspect that I may have been somewhat of a curiosity for them as well. The initiate is covered with white clay given her skin the light color in the photo. She also wears "medicine" around her neck and many beaded necklaces. I do remember her being somewhat shy and that she never said a word during all of this activity. Bitema was a very small village in those days of perhaps a dozen houses.