The Sharo festival of the Nigerian Fulani.

The Fulani tribe of Nigeria, in West Africa. Nigeria happens to be the most populous country in Africa and consists of the highest number of ethnic groups. About 300 ethnic groups.

There’s a festival called Sharo. It’s a festival from the Fulani. The Fulanis happen to be a dominant ethnic group in Nigeria. Sharo, which means flogging, is a traditional rite that provides a passed from boyhood to manhood. In this tradition, young men compete to find a wife. The competitors are flogged, and their ability to endure is what gives the wife to take home.

This Sharo festival is celebrated during dey season, during the Muslim celebration of eid-el-Kabir. It is being celebrated in an open place and lasts a week. The festival starts with various performances and comes to the most exciting part—the part where the unmarried men, bare-chested, are escorted into the scene by a ring of women.

The contender’s family keeps praying and wishing that their son does not bring Shame to their household. The inability to endure the flogging is Shame. To avoid this and to be able to endure, these men recite mantras and undergo some form of fortification. Though the severe whipping often leaves a mark on the contenders, it’s believed that it’s a sign of courage.

At the end of the flogging, the survivors are celebrated and permitted to marry whomever they want. It can be four women in as much as he will be able to retain peace in his household.

They have been a decline in practice since most modern Fulani’s describe it as dangerous and non-Islamic. Some Fulani tribes, even till this present day, are determined to keep the tradition alive.

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