Gerawol Festival – Chad

Gerawol Festival otherwise referred to as Chad’s all – male beauty pageant is held by the Nomadic Woodaabe tribes of Gerawol wherever they wander.

The festival has become even more famously held in neighboring Niger, where it has largely become a show for Westerners and tourists from across the world.

The Gerawols here are genuine affairs, glorious beauty pageants in which men rather women dress up, apply make – up and perform to attract mate, find love, marriage or a single night of passion. Here the men battle it out for supremacy in front female judges.

The Gerawol provides opportunity for Wadaabe people to gather during the year as they constantly wander about in search of water and pasture for their herds.

Though it is not a certainty for if the rainy season had been bad, the Gerawol does not hold at all.

The male dancers partaking in the Gerawol wear elaborate costumes and towering ostrich plumes.

Beneath the heavy costumes are tough men who have one goal – to win the admiration and love of their dream woman, as the women watch the performance sitting under a tree.

The routine performance last for several nights. On the final night of the festival, three marriageable women choose three winners after observing the men swagger like peacocks for the past few days.

The three young women walk slowly along the line of dancers, displaying no emotion.

photo: Stevebloom

Wodaabe follow a set of rules known as pulaaku, and one of the most important, is not to show any feelings. Then each quickly taps their favourite man. Everyone races in to congratulate the winners. For one to be chosen is usually a huge honour.

The women will now go back to their camps and wait. If the chosen men like their girls, they will follow.

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