Senegal: the kings of sand

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY DAVID FABREGA | 2013

In Joal-Fadiouth, as in every village in Senegal, Senegalese wrestling tournaments take place after the rainy season. Every year during the last week of October, these competitions are held in a sand arena where several pairs of wrestlers compete simultaneously. The opponents are fighting with bare hands without any protection. Their goal: win the tournament and be recognized as the new King of Sand within their community.

Read the photo story as published in Photo Life

Much more as a sport, Senegalese wrestling is a vector of social peace and national pride for the different ethnic groups (mostly Wolof, Serer, and Peul) and religions (mainly Muslim and Catholic) that coexist within the Senegalese villages.