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Tafaa Seck
Even though his work is sold in many places throughout the city of Dakar, the artist Tafaa Seck is a very private person and he doesn’t seek publicity for himself. His paintings, however, bring him attention. Sometimes his work takes the form of collages as he attaches cloth to a painting of the saint Amadu Bamba. These images stand out from the background only a little, because it is a principle of Islam that one not make a three-dimensional picture of a person. Another of Tafaa Seck’s techniques is to use calligraphy in his paintings. For followers of the Sufi way, letters and words are powerful mystical tools.

Tafaa Seck
Painting of Amadu Bamba praying on the waters. This painting is displayed for sale and is posted (with others) on a fence around a small park. The miracle of Amadu Bamba praying on the waters is portrayed often in paintings and other media and is a most important event in the life of the saint. Sent into exile on a French ship, Bamba was accompanied by a Catholic priest and European passengers. When his request to pray on deck was refused, the Angel Gabriel delivered a message that he must "make do." Bamba then descended from the ship, aided by the angel, and spread his sheepskin on the water to pray. When he arose, Bamba had sand on his forehead as if he had prayed on land. What can be learned from Bamba’s miracle? How could this event provide courage in times of need? Is there a special event or story you know that inspires you in difficult times?

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