sporting diapers and spouting culture (3 of 4)


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Africa » Senegal » Fatick Region » Sokone
February 12th 2012
Published: February 16th 2012
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lutters, kings of multitaskinglutters, kings of multitaskinglutters, kings of multitasking

the men fight amidst other fighters doing prayer, fighters jogging, kids running around, MCs fixing stereo wires etc etc. and the fighters ARE the main event.
part iii of iv

...lutte is a lot about multitasking

in Senegal, one needs to adapt early to sleeping, eating, reading, writing, watching t.v., dancing and conversing all in the milieu of ten other people doing any one or two of these activities as well.

there is little peace and no concept of privacy or consideration of others' physical or psychological needs that i have seen or felt.

for better or worse in Senegal, life goes on around you, and yours goes on around others. loudly. absently. (as for when sex happens, i am still wondering about this...).

until today, i had only caught lutte at its extremes:

a) on the beach - where there is no expectation that focus be given to one set of two tiny boys sparring amid the array of beach hullabaloo

b) on the television - where everyone is absolutely fixated on two muscle men dressed in pampered string bikinis going at it.

the live local match was a ridiculous level of chaos beyond the beach, and heavy rigamarole beyond the t.v.

...even after the first set of sparring men were announced, as they tried to brown
gamou 2012; night of multitaskersgamou 2012; night of multitaskersgamou 2012; night of multitaskers

mosque blaring, people praying, women cackling around them, kids running, men hawking wares...AND people sleeping. all within the same 2000sq meters
bear paw their way to the win, life went on around them: other contenders jogging, running, doing their prayers, bustling around their water and gris-gris boys...spectators coming and going, the sound system fuzzing in and out.

and ebenso, the fighters' lives went around the others...their heaving, panting panther bodies toppled over benches full of spectators and knocked kneeling pray-ers to the ground.




...lutte is musical

so much of life in Senegal is rhythm.

unlike their big league role models, tonite's local contenders are not (yet) important enough to have live drummers and dancers...but this didn't stop the fighters and their gris-gris boys from whooping it up.

during the pre-game time, fighters mostly do what I would call stancing – they are rhythmically moving around the playing field in a dance only comprised of their fighting stances. meanwhile, their gris-gris boys are doing a dance somewhere between traditional warrior moves and reggae.

this stancing and dancing was maybe no surprise, but what struck me was that once the match started, the opening minutes of this brown bear pawing at one another that i used to find cartoonish, i now found quite
whacking waltzwhacking waltzwhacking waltz

there is something musical and graceful about it all afterall...even the sand-tossing is rhythmic
rhythmical, grounding and graceful. as their paws slapped, their bodies tilted to that side, even once hand latched and calve muscles strained, there was still a metronome tick to their teeter-totter.

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djembe  jivedjembe  jive
djembe jive

got to hang out with some djembe makers one morning. cool.


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