John Howard Sanden
Selected Portraits

Pageant of Africa

Procession from the Turbanning Ceremony of His Imperial Highness the Garsan Fulani of Kano
Oil on canvas, 154 x 74 inches.
To enlarge, click on left, center or
right portions of the imag
e
he scene is the vast parade ground before the Palace of the Emir in Kano, Nigeria. The tall archway in the center of the picture is the main entrance to the palace, an immense adobe structure dating back more than five hundred years. To the left are the dome and minarets of the Great Mosque of Kano (the people of Kano State are Muslim, as is most of the population in northern Nigeria). Ambassador Fernandez, having just received the turban of office from the hands of the Emir, now rides his richly ornamented mount across the parade ground, surrounded by spear-carrying horsemen representing many of the equestrian societies of Kano.
The tradition of horsemanship, and the elaborate costumes of the riders and decorations for the mounts, derive, virtually unchanged, from medieval times. Even the musical instruments are of immense antiquity. The Fulani are an ethnic group spread over many countries, predominantly in West Africa, but found also in Central Africa and Sudanese North Africa. The Fulani are the largest group of nomadic people on Earth.

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