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The image of Amadu Bamba possesses and conveys baraka blessing energy. The tiny reception room of Serigne Faye is so covered with paintings of the saint and his closest family and followers that it can be called an "imagorium." Even the ceiling is painted as a trompe l’oeil path leading skyward to Heaven. The imagorium’s baraka is so intense that it can be said to possess a visual piety that structures devotional experience. It is here that Faye receives people seeking his inspired guidance and healing powers. It is here that his followers, called talibés, congregate in the late afternoon to listen to his sermons, pray, and sing zikr "songs of remembrance" and khassaïd odes written by Amadu Bamba. The joy of the talibés mounts as they sing in the company of the saints present through their images. Serigne Faye’s bedroom, seen in a photograph to the right, is also charged with imagery, for the holy man says that he wants to see the Bamba and those closest to the saint as he closes his eyes at night and again when opens them in the morning. The saint protects him as he sleeps, and informs his dreams.

The imagorium portraits have been painted by one of Serigne Faye’s talibés named Assane Dione (see Artist Portrait). They will be borrowed for a reconstruction of the imagorium in the Passport to Paradise exhibition. The portrait of Amadu Bamba shown on this website’s homepage is by Dione, as are the paintings and a banner seen here, that depicts the Kaaba of Mecca with the holy names Allah and Mohammed superimposed. Most of the men portrayed by Dione are Bamba’s sons who have served as caliphs in Touba. Sheikh Ibra Fall receives Dione’s special attention, as in the stunning portrait filling an entire wall of Serigne Faye’s bedroom. Dione is a highly educated man with graphic arts and design training, but although his paintings may appear to be works of photo-realism, one can learn to "pierce" them and discern divine secrets. Videotaped interviews with Assane Dione and Serigne Faye will be seen in the gallery.


 

 
--------------Introduction : Rise of Islam : Life of a Saint : Mass Produced Imagery : Mouride Work Ethic
---Devotional Sanctum : Healing Prayers : Architecture : Apostles : Sainted Women : Global Networks : Pilgrimage