Togo style

Winning the top prize or medal in any event is not always an easy feat. One would undoubtedly require determination, energy and focus, as well as be ready to tackle opponents fairly. Recently, there was a massive turn out at a wrestling arena during the Evala Festival in Togo. The festival is an initiation ritual passage for men over 18 years old to pass from boyhood to manhood. A week before the opening ceremony, the young men go into isolation and gorge themselves with dog meat, which is meant to enable them take on the dog’s attributes and give them supernatural powers over their opponents. A dog is also killed just before the competition and its fat smeared on the body of the contestant in order to make him slippery, and hence make it hard for his opponent to seize him. The privileges of the ultimate winner are immeasurable as he is allowed to protect the community in case of an attack and when he dies, he is buried in an adult tomb instead of a child’s tomb.
(Text and photos by Xinhua)

o style

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