Day 57: Ingal
Those already made up are scrambling into leather leggings and exchanging their everyday sandals for elaborate, decorated versions, which they slip on lovingly. Then they tie each other's white turbans, onto which are fixed headdresses of cowrie shells, precious stones and, to cap it all, ostrich feathers.
Once this long and painstaking process is complete, they leave their temporary home and walk the mile or so to the showground. Despite the confidence of their display, they still seem pitifully self-conscious. Country cousins in the big city.
The thudding music grows louder and the red and white Coca-Cola umbrellas draw closer. Our friends sing, not very convincingly, more to keep their spirits up, as their eyes search the crowd for fellow Wodaabe, like new arrivals at an old school reunion. Suddenly I feel that our presence is superfluous. The best way we can repay their hospitality is probably to stay out of the way. It's their show now.
Choose another day from Sahara