Boyé Gôh, the Ivorian festival seeking to promote peace and tourism

This is Boyé Gôh, the first edition of a cultural festival in Guiglo, Ivory Coast.

The event celebrates the culture of Wés, a people living across western Ivory Coast and neighbouring Liberia.

Wés speak their own languages, and include numerous subgroups like Bété, Nyabwa, and Guéré.

They are believed to have been living in the region since the 13th century.

Boyé Gôh is a way to showcase the traditions, crafts and culture, promote peace and tourism, according to the organisers.

Wés are known for wearing traditional masks called Glaes.

“The Glaes are a secret society, they are spirits, they are our cultural values, and when we do events they have to come out,” says Félix Le Kpahi Dehe, organiser.

“Their outings make it a craze in everything we do. And after them it’s joy and prosperity in the families, that’s why we love the Glaes very much.”

And attendees are enjoying this live cultural display.

“I think it is a very beautiful culture, I myself am from the region, I am Wé,” says Doué Sedjem Bon, former public servant.

“I think it is interesting to meet very often, so that we can get back into our habits and customs. I take my hat off to the organisers, so that this festival can be perpetuated.”

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