March 1994, in the village of Solo, Keleya Arrondissement, Mali.
Every spring, the village celebrates what they call "Moribayasa". I was told that the celebration is to show thankfulness for the previous year's harvests so that they will have a good harvest in the coming season. It's a fun week, including, among other things, plenty of dancing and music, sacrifices, and even old women dressing up as the old men and acting out little plays to poke fun at them. This was the first "fete" I saw in Solo and also the last big one I saw before finishing my time there, so it's particularly memorable.
When I look back at this picture, I love to look for familiar faces in this crowd of beautiful women - mostly my closest neighbors, but also the women who went to prenatal consults and who took their babies to our maternity's monthly baby-weighing sessions.