Community: The Bedik in Iwol Village

The Iwol village rests on top of a mountain near the southeastern town of Kedougou.

With a population of 500, it acts as a small capital for the Bedik people.

Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed. The chief, Jean-Baptiste, guided us through the community and educated us on the history that precedes it.

The Bedik have an animistic approach to life, believing in the balance of nature and the connection between the physical and spiritual.

Before recording, we shared a bucket of palm wine, as he entertained us with drunken stories of his sprints up the steep mountain in only twenty minutes; a trek that had previously taken us two hours, sober.

Bedik music involves the entire community; they sing in dissonant harmonies whilst clanging thumb-bells together. Songs are minimalistic, repetitive and can last forty-five minutes.

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