are a number of Gambian festivals which have either been part
of traditional society or have in modern times been recently created.
Some are agricultural in origin having there roots in the land
while others are related to the sky above such as the rainmaking
festivals involving the women of the village.
There is general consensus of the potential for festivals to communicate
or affirm the values of Gambia's society and strengthen the bonds
between its members. Such gatherings provide a forum to release
pent-up social tensions and an escape from the daily grind of
are other types of ceremonies not covered in this section. These
range from elaborate inauguration ceremonies of Ngansinba - female
leader associated with initiation cult ceremonies.
Whilst there is growth in multi-ethnic expressions, the quest
for the Gambia's groups to reaffirm their identities remains.
The recent rekindling of celebrations of constituent festivals
in Janjangbureh. Dankunku (Maribantang Cultural Festival), Banjul
Demba Festival, and the Gambian-African Festival at Kanilai confirms
a cultural revival with specific claims and identities.
Because Africa is now more exposed more than ever to external
influences and in particular globalization. As well as changes
in the physical markets Gambians are also exposed to an onslaught
on the cultural sphere. Today more and more young people are listening
to foreign, imported music and are adopting foreign fashions than
The challenge is now for cultural institutions, scholars and champions
to identify some of the changes that are taking place and define
the implications these will have for the future. They must establish
how Gambians could revive and retain their cultural traditions
for the benefit of all people.
Culture & Traditions