Mandinga Warriors Cape Verde

Mandinga Warriors Cape Verde

Mandingas go out to the streets in Cape Verde, dressed in costumes and painted in black with ashes and oil.
Photos and text by Photos and text by Ramón Ruiz Sampaio

 

 

The Mandinga warriors are known for their vibrant and colorful performances during traditional festivals and celebrations, particularly during Carnival. They wear elaborate costumes adorned with feathers, beads, and masks, symbolizing different aspects of Mandinga culture and history.
The origins of the Mandinga tradition in Cape Verde can be traced back to the Mandinka people, who are part of the larger Mandé ethnic group from West Africa. Mandinga culture and traditions were brought to Cape Verde through the transatlantic slave trade, as the islands served as a strategic hub for the trade routes between Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
In Cape Verde, the Mandinga tradition has evolved over time, blending with local customs and influences to create a unique cultural expression. The Mandinga warriors play a central role in preserving and transmitting this tradition to future generations, passing down their knowledge and skills through oral history, music, and dance.
During Carnival and other festive occasions, the Mandinga warriors perform elaborate dances and rituals that tell stories of bravery, resilience, and cultural pride. Their performances are characterized by energetic drumming, rhythmic movements, and colorful displays, captivating audiences and fostering a sense of community and belonging.
Overall, the Mandinga warriors in Cape Verde are cherished for their role in preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of the islands, embodying the spirit of resilience and creativity that defines Cape Verdean identity.

Photos and text by Ramón Ruiz Sampaio