2016 Fire Festival in Nalerigu (Bugum Toobu)

As I’ve mentioned before, the annual Fire Festival (Bugum Toobu or Bugum Kyuu) is one of my favorite cultural events (see 2015, 2014). It’s a wonderful mix of traditional, ancient order and wild, youthful antics.

This year’s event was a bit of a let down because of the weather. Around 6pm a huge thunderstorm rolled through and poured for two hours. They finally began the festivities around 9pm and it was still drizzling. Since folks weren’t able to gather dry grass at the last minute (no one plans ahead for these things) there wasn’t much participation.

I’ve been shooting video and photos each year and I’m considering going out to a village next year for a change of scenery. I’d like to eventually put together a little documentary video like the Zigi Ŋmeebu courtyard pounding one.

NPR Publishes Fire Festival Story

One of NPR’s culture blogs has published a photo of mine along with a story about the Fire Festival. It is written from the perspective of a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dagomba area of northern Ghana. The Dagomba are siblings of the Mamprusi as they share a common ancestor and therefore they share many of the same customs and traditions.

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Naawunni kyɛ ka yuumni ti ya nya hoo nŋɔa taabu ka mari la nyɔvuri ni alafɛa n laa n-toori bugum.

May God allow me to live through the coming year with health and throw fire again.

Mamprusi Fire Festival Prayer

Singing the Gospel

Songs and stories can impact hearts in any culture, but they are crucial conveyors of truth and meaning among people whose worldview is shaped by spoken rather than written words.

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KJ Portraits

I have an upcoming photoshoot of a cultural event and I wanted to make sure my gear was all in tip-top shape. Heidi and I brought KJ out to a field next to our house and I took these portraits of her. She is was in a good mood most of the time but we did have to take a short break for her to nurse. After that, she was ready to continue her supermodel debut.

New IMB.org Sub-Saharan African Website

The IMB media team has launched a new website which includes new webpages for each affinity.

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