WORLD AFRICAN ARTS
When we bring out our masks for presentation, we are called "Nanfoule", a Malinke word which means "freedom". We are the St. Louis chapter.The mask dance society is international, founded in accordance with the basic principles of African masquerade societies in general. They work as an entourage of masqueraders, assistants, musicians and dancers. Each mask dance has its own characteristic, meaning and purpose. Ceremonies and special events, both public and private are ideal occasions for the mask society. Currently featured are Nyon Kwoya, also known as Jacaba in Senegal, and Gble Gble in Liberia. It is mask on stilts, originating in the triple border region of Guinea, Ivory Coast and Liberia. Also featured are Koompo ("secret", from Senegal), D'mba, or Nimba ( mother, fertility, from Guinea), and Jonkonnu (various character maskers originating from the island of Jamaica).