The endangered priestesses of Ivory Coast

In the eastern Ivorian town of Aniansue, these women, bodies embalmed in clay, swaying to the beat of drums, are training to become ‘komians’. At a time when modern society increasingly leaves tradition behind, komians are priestesses which according to traditional lore, are well versed in healing as well as conflict resolution.
Priestesses known as Komians lead the procession of the king of the Grand Bassam, of the third dynasty of Alonhomba king of the N’Zima Kotoko people and president of the Chambre Nationale des Rois et Chefs Traditionnelles or King and traditional leaders National Chamber (CNRCT), as he is carried during the Abissa 2017 celebration at the Palais Royal in Grand Bassam on November 4, 2017. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP)

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