Kokowa or Kokawa (Niger)

Kokowa or Kokawa (Niger)

  • Name of sport (game): Kokowa or Kokawa
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  • Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

    The traditional fight, kokowa in Hausa language, is a popular dual fight practiced in Niger. The whole community participates in it with a spirit of conviviality before, during and after, which gives it all its playful, cultural and religious significance. Famous wrestlers nomadize from village to village accompanied by musicians, marabouts and other buffoons to fight after the harvest.
    In history, the wrestlers of the 1950s, because of their mystical and physical forces and their techniques, remain living legends.
    Traditional wrestling owes its aura to the simplicity of its practice, the accessibility of combat for the rich and the poor, its resistance to modern sports and above all the fact that it remains a rural sport still retaining its playful and cultural aspects. Customary and political powers, marabouts and fetishists, musicians and singers, buffoons and Olympic experts coexist in the psychological preparation of the wrestlers before, during and after the fights in order to build their confidence and increase the chances. The struggle is the framework par excellence of cultural and bodily expression, rites, beliefs, music, oral poetry of the communities. The wrestler who wrestles is the hero of his group, of his region.

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