Zaouli, popular music and dance of the Guro communities in Côte d’Ivoire

Inscribed in 2017 (12.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2015 by Office Ivoirien du patrimoine culturel (OIPC)
Zaouli is a popular music and dance practised by the Guro communities of the Bouaflé and Zuénoula departments of Côte d’Ivoire. A homage to feminine beauty, Zaouli is inspired by two masks: the Blou and the Djela. Its other name, Djela lou Zaouli means Zaouli, the daughter of Djela. In a single event, the practice brings together sculpture (the mask), weaving (the costume), music (the band and song) and dance. There are seven types of Zaouli masks, each translating a specific legend. The bearers and practitioners include sculptors, craftspeople, instrumentalists, singers, dancers and the notables (the guarantors of the community’s customs and traditions). Zaouli plays an educational, playful and aesthetic role, contributes to environmental preservation, conveys the cultural identity of its bearers and promotes integration and social cohesion. Transmission occurs during musical performances and learning sessions, when amateurs learn under the supervision of experienced practitioners. The viability of Zaouli is ensured through popular performances organized two or three times a week by the communities. The traditional chiefdom, the guarantor of traditions, also plays a key role in the transmission process and inter-village dance competitions and festivals offer further opportunities for revitalization. Research and documentation activities are also underway.
Danseur masqué du Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Maminigui
Danseur masqué du Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Manfla
Danseur masqué du Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Zrabisséhifla
Musiciens-instrumentistes du Zaouli de Zrabisséhifla
Danseur masqué du Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Blêfla
Danseur accompagnateur du Zaouli ou Zaouli Zouzan du village de Blêfla
Danseur masqué du Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Tibéita
Danseur masqué de Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Dianfla
Danseur masqué du Zaouli ou Zaouli Bozan du village de Bouafla
Flûtistes du Zaouli du village de Bouafla jouant trois flûtes droites en bois (mâle, femelle, enfant) ou Béli
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