On the Road continues in Timbuktu where Bob Holman gets more insight into the dusty off-station in the middle of nowhere. Bob goes to the Timbuktu Library, with volumes from the 16th Century when the city was the center of African learning. We ourselves learn how to ride a camel and how Timbuktu got its name before we venture into the Sahara and spend an afternoon listening to the hypnotic music of the Tuaregs, the nomadic "blue people," named because their indigo-dyed clothing rubs off on their skin.
Then we head south to visit the Dogons, renowned for the interplay of their culture of masks with daily life and rituals. Bob tries to get a mask ceremony to happen: he buys millet beer for the town, and we see how it is brewed. He then has his fortune read via iconic marks in the sand that are left overnight for the pale fox to wander through and change their meanings, one of many Dogon traditions first written about by Marcel Griaule. When the village erupts into a mask ceremony, the Dogon dancing, music and masks evoke a complete cosmology of extraordinary beauty, utterly fascinating and unique.
About On the Road
What happens when a downtown New York poet of the hip hop and slam persuasion discovers that the roots of spoken word go back thousands of years and span the globe? If he's Bob Holman, he goes On the Road to track them down! He trades stories, fun, recipes, insights, jokes, songs, and poems. Along the way, he gets passionately immersed in the Endangered Language crisis -- over half the world's 6500 languages will disappear before the end of this century. Holman guides us to the bottom-line question of survival of these systems of consciousness with respect, joy, and dedication to diversity. He throws himself into the life -- shares the meals, participates in the ceremonies, dances and parties. His enthusiasm infects the series' fast-paced style.
Produced by Ram Devineni and Beatriz Seigner. Hosted by Bob Holman.