March 23, 2015

1495 SENEGAL - Flower-woman in front of Kermel Market in Dakar

As in most West African countries, Senegal has a wide variety of ethnic groups, so it's difficult (for me) to identify the one to which belongs the woman shown in the postcard. Anyway, she is a flower seller and stands in front of the Marché Kermel (Kermel Market) - the main entrance can be seen behind her. Located next to a brightly-coloured colonial-era building at the end of the Avénue Albert Sarraut, on the opposite side of the Place de l'Independance, Kermel Market is one of the Dakar's most important market. Before independence, it had been designated for use by Europeans. The original 1860 construction burnt down in 1994, but in 1997 it was reconstructed - closely modeled on the building's initial structure and decoration. Are sold there all kinds of merchandise, but it is most popular for foodstuffs.

This covered market is a large circular building, so you must walk in a snail shell path to see it all. On the outer circles are sold okra, fresh herbs, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, hot peppers… The closer you get to the center, the odors become more pronounced, because in there are selling seafood, fish, poultry, beef... If in exterior are the colours, in interior are the smells. Practicaly, in this bustling market you can see how is the daily life in Dakar, with women doing the buying, choosing... like in any market in the world. Many women go to this market to sell flowers, primarily for western tourists. They jostle each other for position, and loudly demand payment for any of the photographs taken. Actually, they seem to sell more photographs than bouquets of flowers.

About the stamps
The first stamp is one of the two of the series SOS Children's Village of Tambacounda, isued on September 15, 2010. The second is part of the series Senegalese Elegance - The Peulh Woman, issued on March 12, 2002, and consisting of 11 definitive stamps.

A Trip to Kermel - "A year in Dakar" blog
High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America, by Jessica B. Harris

Sender: Sebastien Chevalarias
Sent from Mbour (Thiès / Senegal), on 25.02.2015
Photo: Am Breger

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