This is the World’s vainest tribe where men dress up to take each other’s women – and the women have as many husbands as they please.The most important date in the Wodaabe calendar is September at the end of the rainy season when sexually liberated tribe gathers ahead of their transhumance migration – to celebrate Gerewol.
Here in the heart of the African continent, in the tribu tribe, standards and beauty criteria are not the same. What is different from typical beauty contests is that here are women who judge boys.
Unmarried girls are allowed to have sex whenever and with whomever they wish.
It is a country where you can attend a beauty contest like the others, with the exception of two rules, it is the men who will be marching on the stage, and whoever wins, is selected for the wedding. No problem here for Afro-feminists in the world.
Men are seen with faces painted in makeup. It’s not just the face painting that counts. The very precious clothes that they spend much of their time creating themselves which are the particularity of the event. Some take even more than a year to prepare for this ceremony.
The ladies are also looking for the most beautiful face, the largest and most graceful, the best dressed, flashing bright eyes and the most white, most charismatic, masculine.
Wodaabe are nomads, migrating through much of the Sahel from northern Cameroon to Chad, Niger, and northeast Nigeria. The last nomads in the area, the Wodaabe number between 160,000 and 200,000. Other around them – the Hausa, Fulani, and Tuaeg – regard the Wodaabe as wild people. The Wodaabe refer to the Fulani with equal disdain as Wodaabe who lost their way.
One man proudly revealed he had stolen 30 wives in his life – but it is not all fun and games.’You know, stealing wives is not an easy thing,’ one tribesman said. ‘Only the Wodaabe know! You steal a woman from others and she will give sons to your lineage, even grandsons. Only the Wodaabe know how to do that.’