Birama in Mali


Birama, eleven, is very lucky. His father is the best puppeteer in Mali. This ancestral art is transmitted in Africa from generation to generation. So, like his father had done before him, Yaya, the father of Birama teaches his son the art of making and animating these figurines sculpted out of a single piece of wood. This week, Birama must listen to his father’s advice because he is participating in a puppet show to celebrate a birth in his neighborhood. In Mali, families don’t always have the money to buy toys for their children. But Birama and his friends have no lack of imagination. They organize storytelling contests, make toys with tin cans, and play soccer with bottle caps. They always find a way to amuse themselves!