Balanta men leaving for Fanado

Balanta men preparing to take to the woods for a Fanado (male circumcision) ceremony. The ceremony takes place once every four years. It’s a two-month process in the "sacred woods" which the Balanta believes opens the doors of maturity and wisdom. We were there for the first day of the Fanado ceremony which is a general festival for the entire village during which people eat drink and dance.


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