« Doany de Bezavo », the site of the tomb of the Grand King, comes to life once every quarter annum. In Mahajenga, a bustling city north west of Madagascar, a reunion attracts pilgrims from across the country and neighboring islands. Sakalava tribe members (and many fun seekers) crowd the sacred location to pay homage to their ancestors during a festival called ‘Fitampoha’.

In order to perform the sacred ritual, a strict clothing etiquette is printed in red: wearing scarves or lambas, no underwear, hair tressage of women… Upon receiving the rites from the Doany many switch to the little entertainment offered within the vicinity, indulging in games, grilled zebu meat (brochette) and drinking local rhum (tocka gasy).

Several photo booths are erected for the occasion, loud speakers set up by the owners persuading visitors to stop and get their picture taken. The price of a photo is 1,000 MGA or 0.3 euros. Visitors take advantage of this unique opportunity prior returning home, since for the majority, it shall probably be the only photo until next year if ever.

{ a collaborative work and message – Nanna Kreutzmann }

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