The Senufo acrobats. One of the more than 60 ethnic groups in Ivory Coast is the Senufo, a primitive group with amazing customs and spectacular dances.
As if made of rubber, a girl is bounced to and fro in front of a mesmerized audience.
The girl can withstand the brusque movements of these men because she is convinced that a spirit protects her and makes her a daring acrobat.
The Senufo take regular shows from town to town. When girls turn eight years of age, they leave the stage and return home with a portion of the money raised by the performances, and the maestros choose another girl under seven years old.
To the beat of the tom-toms, the Senufo give the public a ritual show that, at its heart, has spiritual roots: in this dynamic festival, performers also go into a trance to in order capture the beneficial influences of secondary gods, and to banish forces of evil to the realm of darkness.