Mali: Sahel Journey
Bicycle Africa / Ibike Tours


Dispatch 12 - Sevare

  We say farewell to the Dogon people and prepare to visit Timbuktu. After the wonderful reward of new experiences daily for the last week this leg is a little anticlimactic. The Sahel scenery is still present though nothing quite as noteworthy as that around Niongono and the escarpment. There are compact aesthetic villages, but nothing as unique as the ancient settlements along the cliffs or the circumcision site in Songo. When greeted the people still would usually flash a warm smile, but they seemed a little more jaded with HIV/AIDS awareness sign, Sevare, Malitourist traffic.

The road is wide, in good shape and fast so we arrived in Sevare just after noon.

For several members of the group the cross-cultural and learning experience for the afternoon was going shopping for Malian crafts. While a lot of the stuff is produced for tourist, Mali has a lot of traditional craft, with a lot of variety that are traditional. If you have the time to spend with the merchants they will explain the differences and distinctions of the cloth produced in San, Mopti, Bandiagara, Segou, Gao and other location. There is also a variety of masquerade from the Bambara and Dogon. The various styles of mask have their own origins, uses and powers. There is a lot more to learn than can be absorbed in an afternoon. And at the end of the lesson you can purchase one of the teaching aids and take it home for a lasting memory. Depending upon you budget, you may feel like a kid in a candy store, as one member of the group put it.





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