Gambia Photo Album

Boys with Shoes
Tendaba Village, 1991

Like many rural children, these raggedly dressed boys have a relatively care-free childhood. Their dress is fairly typical for Gambian children, who generally wear clothes until they nearly fall off their bodies.

Girls tend to have more domestic chores than boys, including cooking, washing, and caring for younger children. Boys are often responsible for gathering firewood. All go to the fields during the rainy season, and roughly 60% go to primary school during the school year, more boys than girls.

As soon as a camera comes out, Gambian children will often jump in front of foreigners and shout "picture me". If there is a bicycle, soccer ball, nice pair of shoes, or other valuable object around, they may just try to include that in the picture. While this may seem odd to us, since it's obvious that the object doesn't belong to them, the children seem proud to be seen with valued objects. In general they seem to take life more at face-value, are less questioning and more self-accepting than westerners, qualities which contribute to a culture marked by its friendliness, tolerance, and simplicity.

submitted by Andy Lyons

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