There are more than sixty indigenous ethnic groups in the Ivory Coast: the Dan is one of them. For them, ceremonial dances have a special significance and importance.
The Dan are known for being fierce warriors, forever locked in a struggle with neighboring peoples.
But when it comes to dancing, they become peacemakers, organizing two-day festivals in which the best dancers from neighboring villages are chosen.
The vocal polyphony is energetic, accompanied by loud drums; women also actively participate in the musical ritual. This is a typical imitative dance, one of the many varieties of these ethnic groups choreography in Ivory Coast.
A man wears a mask symbolizing a forest animal. To the sound of drums, the protagonist is driven to the center of the dancing arena by the ringmasters. Supported on stilts, he jumps to mimic the animal he represents.
The Dan believe in a world divided into two halves: the village and its inhabitants on one side, and on the other, the world of wild animals and guiding spirits of the forest. In Ivory Coast the amazing stunts sometimes continue until the dancers fall into a trance.