Fulani Wrestling Match


I gathered with my fellow volunteers at my friends village, Warangi, in the central region when his family came in for a visit. As is customary, families of Peace Corps volunteers are always welcome with festivities and cultural displays of gratitude. After we marched through town, complete with drums and dancing, we all settled into our plastic lawn chairs to watch a performance of skill and strength.

In Fulani wrestling, unlike modern wrestling matches, it is not neccessary to pin the opponents shoulder blades to the ground to claim yourself as the victor. You merely need to make him fall while remaining standing. The match starts with the expression "Ada waawi kam na?" (Can you master me?) and ends with one man on the ground. I was lucky enough to be able to freeze this moment as villagers cheered on.



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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.