Janjanbureh Kankurang Festival
The first Kankurang Festival supported by YEP funding
took place January 15/16th 2018. It is planned to become an annual event
18th/19th/20th January 2019.
Why a Kankurang Festival in Janjanbureh?
Purpose and expected outcomes
"There is growing evidence that there is a demand for new forms of tourism which are more culturally and community based than in the past. Many people now want experiences rather than sights; doing rather than looking and taking part rather than acting as a spectator. The Janjanburay Kankurang and Masquerade Festival will provide such a unique experience to visitors.
The main purpose of the festival is to showcase the unique cultural expression of the Kankurang and other masking traditions of West Africa so that the Island will gain visibility and attract more and more visitors who would like to experience an intangible authentic cultural heritage"
The Tradition of The Kankurang
From Mboka Festival information
"Janjanbureh is well known to be the birthplace of the Kankurang masquerade in the Gambia. The Kankurang masquerade tradition forms an integral part of Madinka initiatory rites and rituals. The term Kankurang is a combination of the Mandinka words “kango” and “Kurango” which literally translate as “voice” and “enforce”, respectively. These terms could be said to refer to the empowerment of the voice in order to enforce the rules set by members of Mandinka society. In essence, the Kankurang is a central figure in a complex ritual system which comprises traditional practices linked to the initiation of young people and the protection of society and the environment."
The initial 2018 Festival was part of the larger two week Mboka Festival
Read about it here
About 60 visitors came from all over Europe through the NGO Naturefriends
Read a blog with images of the festival here provided by YEP
who supported the festival organising committee in collaboration with the National Centre for Arts and Culture, the Gambia Tourism Board and the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism.