The Wodaabe, also known as Bororo, are among the last nomadic peoples of Africa. A sub-group of the Fulani, they live in the steppe region of central Niger, between the Sahara desert and the grassfields. Yearly, Wodaabe clans assemble, and young men of two lineages compete in beauty. Richly embroidered tunics, complex jewelry and make up are among the adornments worn by men on this occasion. Young women, gathered to observe and taking active role in the ceremonies, also wear special wrappers and shirts for the occasion. Such wrappers, made of strips of textile imported from neighboring Nigeria, are enhanced with colorful embroidery, filled with symbolic significance.
Aboubacar Doubou, Niamey, Niger, until 2000; Amyas Naegele, New York, 2000–2013