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Assane Dione’s magisterial painting of Sheikh Ibra Fall welcomes visitors to a gallery dedicated to his Baye Fall followers and the ways that they live Amadu Bamba’s philosophy of work. Ibra Fall was active in supporting and promoting the teachings of Amadu Bamba, and his popular nickname, "Lamp," refers to how Fall became a beacon radiating the enlightenment of the saint. The main minaret of the Great Mosque of Touba where Bamba is buried is named for Lamp Fall, commemorating the man’s activities with esoteric emphasis, for the word "minaret" in Arabic (manarat) means "lamp." When Mouride artists paint images of the central dome and minaret of the Great Mosque, they make implicit reference to Amadu Bamba and Lamp Fall, and vice versa.

Baye Fall followers of Lamp Fall form a subsect of the Mourides, immediately recognizable for the distinctive dreadlocks and patchwork clothing many of them wear. Baye Falls lead a monastic life, especially when young, begging for food, singing zikr "songs of remembrance" of the names of God and the founding saint of the Mourides, and carrying images of Amadu Bamba with them as a source of baraka blessing. Fellowship is an explicit goal of Baye Falls, who live in closely interdependent communities, and the patchwork clothing they effect points to such assembly. Their devotion to hard work is such that their marabout spiritual leaders must command that they stop once they start, lest they utterly exhaust themselves. The status of Baye Falls is deliberately marginal, and following dispensations by the saint, they eschew regular prayers and fasting to seek ecstasy through hard work and singing. They sometimes carry large clubs—not as weapons, for Baye Falls are deeply pacifist as are all devotees of Amadu Bamba, but to thump themselves on the back in penance. As they do so, the forced "Ah!" breath is a prayerful last syllable of that holiest of names, Allah. Tourists sometimes mistake Baye Falls for Rastafarians because of their dreadlocks. The faiths are very different, although their defiant self-reliance is somewhat similar, and many Mourides consider Bob Marley a hero of resistance to oppression.




 
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