The Gouro

The Gouro people of the central Ivory Coast in Africa created a traditional dance in the 1950s called Zaouli. Each community has a Zaouli dancer who performs during funerals and celebrations along with musicians. The ceremony is thought to unite the village and increase productivity. The dancers dons an intricate mask as well as a colorful costume. After the mask has been displayed to the audience, the dancer performs very quick steps accompanied by hand motions to follow the rhythm of the music. The dance follows a common structure but is partially improvised by the dancer according to the music.