Acrylic on canvas

  • 70cm (h)
  • 60cm (w)
portrait photo of njogu touray

Njogu Touray


This painting is part of Njogu’s kenyeleng series, inspired by the colourful and unusual dress and activities of this women’s group in The Gambia.

The circles represent containers made from gourds, which would be used to pour liquids during the ceremony. The cowrie shells as heads represent the wealth of the family, the fact that kenyeleng women value fertility so highly and are focused on restoring theirs.

The kenyeleng women may cook on the street and eat together. While they eat, they may joke or even rub food on their faces to add to their disguise. Their unusual dress and behaviour is designed to fool the evil spirits, who they blame for taking away their ability to have children.