Native Dances Featured on the Stamps of Gabon

06 Dec 2018  Thu

The stamps issued by the Republic of Gabon on 15th September 1965 include two special commemorative stamps in the remembrance of two native dances which are left behind the curtain of time.

Okoukoue is a sect that worships a spirit. The members of the sect then meet in a pen and by the voice of one of their specially designated as parliamentarian and interpreter, again invites the spirit to join them. A half-spoken, half-sung dialogue is established between the man and the spirit, during which the case is exposed to him and the judgment irremediably pronounced.

The stamp with the denomination of 25 Central African francs shows Okoukoue Dance. The stamp depicts a center figure clad in typical festive clothes worshipped by the people dancing around it to please the god.

The Mukudji is one of the white masks of the Punu tribe from Gabon. The term Mukuji designates the mask, the dance and the entire ceremony. The masks are worn by men but represent female figures. The Mukuji is a celebratory dance which is performed, for example, in the event of the birth of twins. The wearer of the mask dances on stilts over two meters in height shaking a handful of small branches to banish evil spirits.

The other stamp of 60 Central African francs features the Mukudji dance. The stamp depicts the Mukudji dancer and other tribal people in his assistance and to play other tribal musical instruments.

Dance forms are the mirrors that reflect a country’s traditions, customs, and social norms and stamps are one of the effective platforms to create awareness about them.

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