Lamb Ji 2010

August 7, 2010

Lamb Ji Grafiti

Lamb Ji Grafiti

Lamb Ji or wrestling is one of the most popular sports in Senegal, and perhaps all of West Africa.  There is nothing like attending a lamb in Dakar. Not only is there a visual treat from the many colors and movements, but the energy in and around the stadium where a wrestling match is taking place is incredible. One becomes part of the collective pulse of the fans who are not just cheering and praying for, but indeed willing, their champion to do his best in the match.

Lamb Ji is also a géwël activity.  The géwëls participation is most obvious in the unmistakable sound of the sabar drums resonating crisply in the heat of the afternoon air. Less noticeable is the conversation that goes on between the cól or lamb, the bass drum of the sabar family, and the wrestler first as he enters the stadium dancing to tuss; later as he holds the pegs of the drum while it plays especially for him.  The presence of the géwël is demonstrative of the myriad roles géwëls have in the society. We can see géwël as musician; géwël as preserver of culture and tradition; géwël as historian, praise singer and exhorter.

One of the big matches coming up on 8 August 2010 is the match between Modou LO and Baye MANDIONE.

Modou Lo

Modou Lo at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione

Baye Mandione

Baye Mandione at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione

I will not be in Dakar for that exciting event but I was fortunate to be in Dakar for some Lamb Ji events at the end of last month.

Friday/Aljuma, 23 July 2010

Drapeau Modiu LO/Baye MANDIONE, Stad Amadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal

The drapeau is the banner under which wrestling events take place. It is usually awarded to and named for a significant person in the community. In this case it is the Drapeau of Sing Sing Faye, the Badj Géwël Ndakarou and the head of the Sing Sing Géwël family in Medina, Dakar, Senegal.

This event, MC’ed by television personality Djibi Faye was a wonderful spectacle. Held two weeks before the match, this was the equivalent of a formal agreement between Modou Lo and Baye Mandione. But it was also an opportunity to promote the 8 August match. So in addition to the two wrestlers who will fight in the featured match, the other wrestlers who meet that day also had the opportunity to present themselves to the fans. So throughout the afternoon and into the early evening the sounds of tuss rang through the stadium as the wrestlers and their entourages entered the stadium with varying amounts of showmanship.

Carrying in the drums.

Members of the Sing Sing family carrying the drums into the stadium.

Fans at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione

Fans at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione

Drums on the stage at Stad Ahmadou Barry.

Fans at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Djibi Faye

Djibi Faye at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Papa Chas and Moustapha Faye prepare to play.

Papa Chas and Moustapha Faye prepare to play.

Djibi Diop and Papa Chas Faye

Djibi Diop and Papa Chas Faye, Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Sing Sing family plays.

Sing Sing family plays at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Entourage of Gouye Gui enters the stadium.

Entourage of Gouye Gui enters the stadium at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawayey, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Gouye Gui and entourage enter the stadium.

Gouye Gui and entourage enter the stadium at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Gouye Gui enters the stadium.

Gouye Gui enters the stadium at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Wrestlers enter the stadium.

Wrestlers enter the stadium at Drapeau Modou Lo/Baye Mandione, Stad Ahmadou Barry, Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal, July 23, 2010.

Wrestler entering staium.

Wrestler entering stadium.

Wrestler entering stadium.

Wrestler.

Wrestler showing his stuff.

Wrestker

Wrestlers dancing.

Wrestlers dancing.

Wrestler entering the stadium.

Wrestler entering the stadium.

Westler entering stadium.

Wrestler.

Gouye Gui.

Gouye Gui

Rap group performance.

Rap geoup performance.

Luk Nikolaye

Luc Nikolaye, manager

Discussion

Discussion

Entourage of BAYE MANDIONE enters the stadium.

Entourage of BAYE MANDIONE enters the stadium.

BAYE MANDIONE enters the stadium.

BAYE MANDIONE enters the stadium.

BAYE MANDIONE.

BAYE MANDIONE

BAYE MANDIONE

BAYE MANDIONE

Singers praise the Sing Sing family.

Singers praise the Sing Sing family.

Entourage of MODOU LO enters the stadium.

Entourage of MODOU LO enters the stadium.

MODOU LO enters the stadium.

MODOU LO enters the stadium.

MODOU LO

MODOU LO

MODOU LO

MODOU LO

Saturday, 30 July 2010

Rock MBALAX defeats Ousman DIOP

Although I did not watch this match in the Stadium I experienced the full excitement of it. I watched it at the Sing Sing compound in Medina which was the next best place to being at the match. This Lamb Ji was held at Stad Ibra Mar Diop which is located only a few blocks from the Sing Sing compound, and Rock Mbalax lives at rue 23 X 24, just one black away.  So from my location I was able to watch cars and car rapides loaded with fans on their way to the stadium, singing and celebrating their local champion.  I could also hear the cheers and groans from the stadium as fans reacted to the outcome of each match.  And when Rock Mbalax took Ousman Diop to the ground the community who had watched the match on television ran into the streets to begin their celebration. After about thirty minutes the celebratory cheers of a larger crowd could be heard approaching. Soon the crowd turned onto rue 23 chanting, singing, and pumping fists in the air. And above the crowd, hoisted onto the shoulders of his adoring fans and neighbors, was a victorious Rock Mbalax, smiling, laughing, pointing his index finger in the air to designate that he is the victor. As the champion arrived at his house the celebrants from the stadium and those in the neighborhood merged into one; members of the Sing Sing family created a small circle in front of his house and began to play while various people entered the circle to celebrate through dance.

ROCK MBALAX

ROCK MBALAX

ROCK MBALAX

ROCK MBALAX

ROCK MBALAX

ROCK MBALAX

Tapha Ndiaye plays for ROCK MBALAX

Tapha Ndiaye plays for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Zal Lo, supporter of ROCK MBALAX.

A supporter of ROCK MBALAX.

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Party for ROCK MBALAX

Abdoulaye Ba

Wrestlers pose.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Balla GAYE II defeats Balla BAYE II

This was a very big match that received a great deal of publicity for weeks before. The match was well fought but Bala Gaye proved to be the stonger of the two.

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