Roots Festival

Roots Festival

May or June during even-numbered years
The first Roots Festival took place in the west African country of the Gambia in 1996. The event derives its name from African-American writer Alex Haley's book Roots, in which he traces his ancestry back to the Gambian village of Juffureh. Sponsored by Gambia's Department of State for Tourism and Culture, the Roots Festival aims to memorialize the enslavement and transportation of millions of Africans. It also serves to build bridges between the African diaspora and the people of the Gambia, in order to celebrate and strengthen African cultural identity and to encourage trade and business ties. The festival includes music and dance performances, plays, tours of African cultural sites, opportunities to participate in Gambian rite of passage rituals, a beauty contest, a fashion show, and a seminar on business opportunities in Gambia. This biennial festival takes place in even-numbered years in the capital city of Banjul.
CONTACTS:
Gambia Tourism Authority
Kololi
P.O. Box 4085
Bakau, Gambia
220-446-2491; fax: 220-446-2487
www.visitthegambia.gm
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