Zarma - Songhay culture:
yeenandi, the rain dance
This video is part of
Jean Rouch film titled "Yenendi,
les hommes qui font la pluie" (Yenendi, the men
who make rain) made in 1951. Yenendi or yeenandi is a ritual ceremony,
the celebration of rain. The film was shot in the Songhay
Simiri in Niger. The length of the original film is 29
minutes, the video shows one and a half minute.
By the summons of the drummers of the
calabashes and the player of the violin the dance of the
possession begins. One by one the spirits "mount their
horses": Moussa the spirit of the wind, Niabri goddess of
the earth, Sadyara the rainbow,
Tyirey master of lightning, Hausakoy master of divine
Dongo master of the thunder and rain. Next the priest
and the faithful consult the "hampi", a
ritual clay pot filled with water and millet grains that
represents the firmament of the coming rainy season put on
earth. During a new possession, Dongo knocks over the pot of
the firmament, the rains of the coming rainy season fall on
the earth of
Simiri . Based on the pattern of lines of water and the
distribution of the grains, the men know whether the season
will be good and the harvest abundant [source:
 Stoller, Paul (1997)
Fusion of the worlds. An ethnography of possession among
the Songhay of Niger.
University of Chicago Press, 268 pages.
Vidal, Laurent (1990) Rituel de possession
dans le Sahel. Edition L'Harmattan, Paris, 304 pages.