WRESTLING IN SENEGAL: New York Times Covers African Martial Art

In Senegal, one sport reins supreme. Wrestling, of the African variety is not merely heritage, it is the nation’s great past time. The New York Times has posted an excellent video and accompanying article on the West African Tradition of Wrestling. While the sport may be obscure, the African tradition of Laamb Wrestling has ancient roots. While it was once practiced in humble settings and competitions were held for the honor of villages, it has evolved into a sport that fills stadiums. Corporations, compete for broadcast and sponsorship rights and the sports gladiators are fantastically wealthy, by Senegal’s standards. In a recent championship bout between the reining YEKINI and his challenger BALLA GAYE 2, each man received $300,000. The events are as authentic as the once small village bouts. The ceremonies open with traditional dances, drumming and warding off of black magic, with rituals that can take hours to perform. The bouts are a true sight to behold. Enjoy the a video of the championship bout between YEKINI and BALLA GAYE 2, below. YEKINI had reined as champion, for 20 years. The match is followed by a bio pic on the victor, BALLA GAYE 2, and a link to the original New York Times Story.