Puppet Masquerades in the Valley of the Niger

by Mary Jo Arnoldi
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Sigi, the Bush Buffalo. Kirango, 1992. Photo by Mary Jo Arnoldi.


This new version of Sigi, the Bush Buffalo, carrying small puppets representing a drummer, xylophone player, and dancer on its back, was performed in the afternoon segment of the June 1992 performance in Kirango. Sigi has been an important character in the Kirango theater for many decades, but the earlier versions of Sigi appeared only during the night segment of the festival and the performance included a male and female buffalo masquerade.