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Mr Bah - the marabout/medicine man - telling our future in the sand, Tuba Dabbo village, The Gambia West Africa, 2009 | by Africa - Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio
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Mr Bah - the marabout/medicine man - telling our future in the sand, Tuba Dabbo village, The Gambia West Africa, 2009

Image: Florio-2009

 

This is the rather wonderful Mr Bah, who we had met previously when we stayed with one of only 5 female alkalo's in Basse Santa Su, Fatou Dansu. When I was first introduced, a thought instantly flitted through my mind: oh so humble, Mr Bumble.....Mr Bah was like a Dickens character that I really wasn't sure of at first. When he shook your hand, he stroked it, very gently, with the other. We soon realised that the reason he did this is because he was getting some kind of tactile sense of who you were. It turned out that he was a Marabout - the greatly respected medicine men, spiritual advisors, koranic teachers, sooth-sayers, if you like, of The Gambia (and West Africa in general).

He invited us to visit his village a week or so later, Tuba Dabbo, which was right off our course, deep into the bush, but we were very happy to go there (you can read more about this in a coming blog entry www.930kmafricanodyssey.tumblr.com).

This is Mr Bah reading mine and Florio's future in the sand of his hut, whilst he crouched on the ground. It was an amazing experience.

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Taken on October 13, 2010