Puppet Friendly City
Located in central Mali, the region of Segou, which is also the name of one of the major cities of the region, is situated mainly in the Sahelian zone. It is crossed by the river Niger which allows irrigated crops and the region is also endowed with a large dam, that of Markala built for irrigation to develop the cultivation of cotton, rice and sugar cane within the framework of the Office du Niger. Historically, this region is the cradle of the Bambara kingdom of Segou which dates from the 18th century. It is therefore a region rich and caring about its traditions, especially that of potters, typical of the surroundings of Segou.
One of the other important traditions in Mali is that of the puppet, in particular the puppet theater Sogobó which has been perpetuated for more than six hundred years. Its artists express the permanence of traditional values while keeping an open eye on the contemporary world.
The puppet theater Sogobó uses a variety of disciplines that make it all the richness: storytelling, music, song, mime, plastic arts, choreography, and manipulation of puppets that requires great dexterity. The talent of the sculptors is also done with freedom and creativity.
With the dances of masks and puppets practiced by the village communities, this theater is a source of renewal and of permanent artistic vitality.