Dozos, traditional hunters of Côte d’Ivoire

Among the many common but interesting sights here in Côte d’Ivoire, dozos are worth a blog post all of their own. Dozos are traditional hunters from the northern areas of Côte d’Ivoire, but they can easily be found further south as a result of the assistance they bring to the military. Dozos hunt with sling shots and (usually hand-made) rifles which are REALLY loud when fired. They wear a certain type of clothing that distinguishes them from non-dozos, onto which they sew charms (gris-gris). These charms, along with the hats they wear, are said to bring the dozos magical abilities. I’m told the most powerful dozos can make themselves invisible to their enemies.

Dozos near Daloa, Haut-Sassandra, Côte d'Ivoire

An important aspect of dozo culture is music; among every group of dozos there are several men skilled in song and instruments, who tell stories nnd share praise through song. Last weekend, a large crowd had gathered in a public square in Daloa to enjoy some singing and dancing dozos, a celebration for one of them who’d just been married.

Dozo singer in Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire
Dozo singer in Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire

They were playing a pretty cool instrument, some sort of lute, and singing really quickly:

Dozo musician in Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire

The little plush toy is the keychain for his motorcycle key, but most of the other little things sewn onto his shirt are charms:

Dozo singer with charms in Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire

Some dozo dancing with an FRCI soldier singing:


Dozo on a motorcycle outside Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire