This highlight video of Lutte sénégalaise ('lutte' is the French word for 'struggle' or 'fight' that's also used for 'wrestle'; it's a cognate of the Spanish word 'lucha', as in 'lucha livre', the Portuguese word 'luta', and so on) just crossed my desktop:
... according to this Wikipedia article it's a kind of 'fall wrestling' with strikes (mostly palm strikes from what I can tell) where victory is accorded when one player's butt, back or head touches the ground, or a player cannot continue for medical reasons. Traditionally, they play an inter-village championship after the rainy season, the winner of which is accorded social status (see: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart for a novel about an African village wrestling champion).
These guys look to be solid athletes with many skills that any wrestler would immediately recognize -- some fierce shoots and quick sprawls here. I really enjoyed watching their matches and thinking about the form of ur-wrestling that must have pre-dated all the diverse grappling styles we see today.
those guys look kind of huge
That's Laamb - tough sport ...
See also Marcus Trower's excellent wrestling travelogue/manifesto "The Last Wrestlers" for a chapter on similar grappling sports in Nigeria.
Added to my Amazon list, thanks.
Originally Posted by DdlR
i must do this.
*looks for spear and white woman*
I'm a white woman... but dont spear me!!
This looks rather cool.
You won't regret it. I wrote a review of "the Last Wrestlers" for this board a while back - can't find the link now, the damn search function is screwing up again. Anyway, it's a great read. Trower is a professional journalist who went off on a quest to study all sorts of obscure grappling styles around the world. IMO he goes a little off the deep end with his theories about how wrestling is a sort of primal male display behavior, but he's consistently entertaining and provides a rare insight into what wrestling means to different cultures.
Originally Posted by jackrusher
a) Those guys are HUGE...and I thought I was big
b) grappling IS the most basic form of human confrontation, may it be for martial purposes, social or religious purposes
c) My father supposedly was a big champion in his village in Senegal, the girls just love the winners...I keep the tradition by doing bjj and sub grappling!
d) It's a Great way to difuse village wars, tribe conflicts, etc...while giving a sense of pride to the village of the winners
Just a National Geography moment...great post, great video! Thanks
I remember reading about the wrestling contests in Things Fall Apart. It's cool to see that these types of competitions are still going on.