2009 | 9 - Ugrupowania polityczne i ruchy społeczne w Afryce | 225-238
Article title

Czy w Afryce jest jeszcze miejsce na tajne związki - rzecz o stowarzyszeniu Awa w plemieniu Dogon (Mali)

Title variants
Is there still a place for secret societies in Africa? The case of Awa society in Dogon tribe (Mali)
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Secret societies (set up around an important, hidden goal), which are common in the Western Africa, have always had a significant place in the local culture. For they have been connected to all the important life events of each member of the tribe - from the rite of the initiation to the post-burial ceremonies. One of the most energetic organisations in this area is the Awa secret society existing among the Dogon in Mali. It is the union of people belonging to „the mask society". Its members are all the men belonging to the innepuru (or unclean) group and not to any of the clearly cut casts existing in the tribe. The main rite in which the masked members of the society participate is the dama post-burial festivity. It is the last farewell and the public show of respect for the deceased and his life achievements. The Awa members also play an important role in another festivity - sigui, which takes place once every 60 years. During the latter, an enthronement of the new Awa dignitaries, called olubaru is carried out. The Awa society participation is also visible in the annual sows festivity. The development of the tourism and demand for a „tourist pro- duct" in form of „ritual mask dances" have forced the Awa to separate their sacrum and profanum functions. To adapt to these new challenges without breaking the rule of secrecy, the society created Troupe Awa de Sangha - as early as l99l in Sangha. It is an informal, separate mask dancing group performing commercially for the tourists. Paradoxicall y, there are sometimes as many dozen or more masks participating in the commercial dances - as opposed to just a few in a „real" dama festivity. In fact, in all described situations the society members take on the role of caretakers, they supervise the order and harmony during the rite. It is because of Awa that the rituals are carried out in accordance with the proper „order of events".
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