Dipri Festival

Dipri Festival

March-April
The Dipri Festival is a celebration held by the Abidji tribe in Gomon, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The Abidjis are one of about 60 ethnic groups in the country, which became a French colony in 1893 and attained independence in 1960 ( see Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day). First, relatives or neighbors meet on the evening before the celebration to reconcile their differences. Then, during the festival, people go into frenzied trances as they are possessed by sÉkÉs —beneficient spirits—and stumble, dazed, in the street. Some people, supposedly led by the spirits, plunge knives into their bodies and then, with the guidance of the sÉkÉs, are healed with poultices of raw eggs and herbs. This festival serves several purposes: it resolves conflicts between generations and in the community, it drives away evil spirits, and it purifies the celebrants.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
2424 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-797-0300; fax: 202-483-8482