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The Culture of Wrestling in Africa Essay

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Describe in details wrestling in Senegal

In Senegal, the wrestling sport is referred to as Laamb. It is considered as an illusory contest between two male opponents adorned in loincloths and decorated with talismans. In this contest, the victorious individual is the one who manages to make the opponent fall on the ground. Victory is achieved if the following conditions are achieved when the hands and knees of a contestant both touch the ground. A contestant is also declared a winner if the back, stomach, or rear makes contact with the ground. This is an ancient sport, a contest which takes place on the sand, and is deeply entrenched in the cultural customs among the Senegalese communities. However, in the recent decade, the sport has been transformed from a mere local sport to a mega-sized spectacle worthy of a live broadcast on television. Most of the successful contestants have acquired a lot of wealth from earnings in the modernized sport.

Apart from the wealth acquired from the sport, the contestants also command a lot of influence among their supporters. Currently, the amalgamation of legends, wealth, and mysticism has transformed lamb into a cradle of heroes. This significantly enlists attention and spurs ambition in teenagers. Among the Senegalese people, wrestlers are perceived as gods. Their photographs are pinned and hanged alongside those of prominent Muslim clerics. Like gods, these wrestlers overlap the boundaries of reality and deferred skepticism. They appear, eat, and conduct themselves like human beings, but radiate a super-natural magnificence, which implies that they belong in a realm of super-heroes. In this society, the culture of wrestling is founded on the premise of intimacy and wealth. Celebrity wrestlers are perceived as lords of their home regions. They have the responsibility of sustaining their friends and equally rewarded by unwavering loyalty.

Discuss what mystical graffiti-like those of Amadou Bamba reveal about Murids

Amadou Bamba is regarded as a Sufi (saint). In French, the term is referred to as Mourides. Particularly, the phrase refers to a person who is close to God. Amadou was considered to be intimate with God. This fact is further cemented by the descriptions made by Bamba about the exile from Senegal imposed on him by the French administration. The saint argued that he developed a divine relationship with Allah during the period when he was away from Senegal. Bamba argued that through the Holy Qur’an, he was able to establish proximity to the Lord. The close relationship Bamba had with Allah is revealed to the Mourides through a picture taken by the colonial administration in 1913.

For instance, from this photograph, it can be observed that the left foot of Bamba is visible, but his right foot has been obscured by the deep shadow resulting from the bright sunlight on the day the photo was taken. Bamba is perceived to have stepped into the shot from another realm. This led the Mourides to believe that he was coming back from a close encounter with Allah. It is believed that when saints return to the real world after their divine encounters with the Lord, they bring blessings to humanity. Mourides refer to these blessings as Baraka. They argue that Baraka provides physical super-abundance, opulence, and emotional comfort. Mourides hold that these blessings are inherited and transmitted by the biological descendants of Bamba. However, they also believe to a large extent that these Baraka can also be conveyed through the photograph of Bamba.

It is not strange to see the Mourides kissing or brushing the portrait of Amadou. They also bring smaller images of Bamba into contact with their foreheads so that the blessings can be conveyed to their bodies. How the Mourides interact with the picture of Amadou Bamba is similar to the way Christians behave about the crucifix of Jesus.

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