The Kankurang is a protective spirit, embodied by a masked and costumed man, at the centre of a ritual system comprising songs, traditions and initiatory rites for young boys. The ritual ensures the transmission and teaching of complex know-how and practices underpinning Manding cultural identity.
This safeguarding project is designed to protect the natural environment in which the Kankurang ritual is practiced, to create meeting spaces or “museums of performance” for communities to practice and share their knowledge, to support an inventory of practices associated with the Kankurang in order to acquire a better knowledge of it, and to sensitize public opinion to its importance. It will therefore focus on establishing adequate management structures in both countries, creating two pilot centers in Kankurang areas and documenting and producing promotional materials. Protecting the natural environment in which the ritual is practiced will be ensured through classification of sacred forests, organizing training in protected areas management and replanting plant species indispensable to the ritual.