Thursday, August 1, 2013
HERDSMEN OF THE SUN: THE STRANGE MATING RITUAL OF THE SAHARAN WODAABE
Several years ago I attended a talk by Werner Herzog at UCLA. He showed clips from his films, one of which has haunted me ever since.
From widipedia: "Wodaabe – Herdsmen of the Sun (German: Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne) is a 1989 documentary film by Werner Herzog. The film explores the social rituals and cultural celebrations of the Saharan nomadic Wodaabe tribe. Particular focus is given to the Gerewol celebration, which features an elaborate male beauty contest to win wives."
The male ideal for the Wodaabe focuses on tallness, white teeth, and eye whites: thus they roll their eyes and expose their teeth to full advantage. Above is the four-minute clip in question.
The full-length documentary is below.
BONUS: Lost Sounds and Soundtracks: The Uncollected Werner Herzog. In particular, check out the apparently impossible to find "Tsintskaro" used in Nosferatu (1979). Performed by Vocal Ensemble Gordela. From the Melodiya label's album Georgian Folk Songs (1969).