Something happened in Kita, at the fetisher’s house, in a room that smelled like death. Not the smell of decomposition and rot, but the smell of ancient death, like a crypt. Unfortunately, I cannot share what happened there, partly because I’m still trying to figure it out myself.
Kita is a place you want to visit, even if you have no interest in the supposedly mystical current that runs underneath the earth there. In addition to fetishers, hunters, and sculptors of the universe in general, Kita has everything you would want in a small Malian town not far from the Guinean border.
There is a nightclub open on the weekends and there is a very funny hotel attached to it — not because it serves as a brothel (it could, I guess), but because the owner has populated the grounds with many bird species, some of them large and very agressive.
Elsewhere in Kita, there is a relaxed market, plenty of shady spots to bullshit with people, a few gangs of goats, an internet cafe, an arcade, and every boutique under the sun.
And the town backs up to a rock formation — a plateau carved by wind and water, a home for caves and creeks and hunters — that has maintained its spiritual importance for centuries (with respect to Animist beliefs that are still widely held in Kita).
Here are some pictures:
A few minutes outside of town, this is what you will find.
Guindo, a dogon living in the hills, led us upward, with his pink boubou and large smile.
The remnants of a sacrifice in a roomy cave.
One of the more mild-mannered birds that lived at the hotel. The other birds were unfortunately out of control. The last time I felt that much anxiety around birds was in the harbor of Essaouira. I made few friends with the birds at this Kita hotel; one goose ran me down on the last day that we were there.
In the bar above the hotel, right next to the Deep Purple Live in Japan album.
Peanut butter shop in Kita.
These guys manage the arcade.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona.
The bar above the hotel.
Look at that baby goat’s face.
The goat version of area boys.
At the barbershop.
Kita is in the heart of Mande country. This bus may take you there.