Glimpses of Janjanbureh Kankurang Festival 2021

The Kankurang Festival in Janjanbureh can be described as the display of culture and tradition, skills and talents, love, and togetherness in the community of Janjanbureh. Because of the demand for a new form of tourism that is more culturally and community-based the Janjanbureh, Kankurang festival is here to provide that experience for you...

Janjanbureh is located in the Central River Region.  It is also where the slave house was located during slavery.

Kankurang is a general term used to name the Mandinka traditional mask. Mandinka’s have different types of masks and each of them has its own purpose or duty towards the community.  Each Tribe has a name for its traditional mask.

The Kankurang Festival was founded by the Janjanbureh Youth Development committee.  Being the town with a big Kankurang museum, this great idea was developed and commenced in 2018. The 1st edition was a successful event after which the festival was marked as a yearly event on The Gambian calendar. Every year in January, the town of Janjanbureh hosts the Kankurang festival.

The mission of this festival is to showcase the exclusive cultural expression of the Kankurang and other masking traditions of The Gambia and West Africa so as to make the Island visible and attract visitors who would like to experience an authentic cultural heritage. 

At this festival, you will be able to see the different masquerades from various tribes in The Gambia. Their history and their role in society.  Every year 15 masquerade performers from different parts of the country attend the festival. They come with their traditional musical instruments and instrumentalists.

The “Jamba Kankurang”, the “Fambondi”, the “Zimba”, the “Hunting” etc can all be seen performing in this festival.  These masquerades are from the following tribes Mandinka, Wollof, and Aku, etc.

If you want to experience the unique feel of these traditional displays this is the right event to be at. If you have missed this year’s festival and you will want to be there next year, be sure to be in the Gambia in late January. 

“Let culture bring us together”

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