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Witness
Casamance: The King's Festival
A story of an ancient four day event, involving dance, ritual, music and wrestling.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 11:11 GMT

Watch part two

Filmmaker: Callum Macrae

A story of how traditional customs bring hope to a ravaged land that continues to live with the threat of violence.

This is a film about the land of the Diola, a people whose nation stretches from Gambia through to the French speaking south of Senegal to the north of Guinea Bissau.

The King's Festival is a captivating glimpse back in time, to the atavistic ties that bind a people together. 

We meet the fascinating inhabitants of Casamance in Senegal, here the Diola come together to unite in the revival of an ancient ritual, the King's Festival.

The turbulent history of these people serves to illustrate their ongoing tradition of resistance not only to the Senegalese government but to the colonial conquests of the British, French and Portuguese, which has left them with a mix of religious beliefs and influences, from animist to Christianity, to Islam. 

Through all of this a culture has survived. 

The King's Festival tells the story of what is a remarkable and ancient four day event, involving dance, ritual, music and wrestling. 

Through unique access and with the help of brilliant characters Callum Macrae is able to film the king as he takes part in the ceremony, and spend time with families in the village as they prepare for, take part in and enjoy this magnificent occasion.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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