UNESCO Fishing Tradition is Threatened by a Disappearing Pond in Mali

UNESCO Fishing Tradition is Threatened by a Disappearing Pond in Mali

As they awaited the signal, thousands of fishermen with cone-shaped nets stood side by side, chanting and celebrating. Abruptly, they dashed to a sizable muddy pond, threw their nets, and knelt in the mud. Before long, one triumphantly displayed a fish as long as his arm.

For countless centuries, people have congregated in the village of San in southern Mali for Sanké mon, a communal fishing ritual that takes place in June and starts with offerings and animal sacrifices to the water spirits of Sanké Pond. The ceremony, which features traditional garb and masked dancers, is listed as an intangible cultural property by UNESCO.

In addition to commemorating the town’s origin, the long-lasting community fishing session also heralds the start of the rainy season. However, heat waves and climate change are upsetting the custom.

According to Mamadou Lamine Traoré, the local chief, Sanké Pond is beginning to disappear.

The pond in Mali has begun to dry up as a result of recent heat waves. According to Emmanuel Doumbia, a local weather watcher, the town’s temperatures hit a record this year at 48.5 degrees Celsius (119 degrees Fahrenheit). This was reported to The Associated Press.

This year’s unheard-of heat wave in Mali has also resulted in an increase in fatalities. As many people in the nation, including a majority of Muslims, commemorated the Islamic holy month of Ramadan by fasting from dawn to sunset, the heat wave started in March.

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