The African dancer requires complete technical mastery and must respect the precise rules handed down by the society of the Masques de Sagesse. Alphonse Tirou is from the Ouenon people of the Ivory Coast. His major study is the first written record of this oral tradition and it explains the movements, codes and meanings of the traditional African dance. It is extremely valuable reading for all those studying or interested in Africa, as dance is such an essential part of this continent's cultural heritage.A former student of the National Institute of Arts at Abidjan, Alphonse Tirou has been a senior dignitary in the Kman of the Masques de Sagesse for over twenty years. He is currently teaching at the Bloa Nam (Movements) dance school in Nmes, which he founded in 1979 and which is still the only school worldwide to research African dance.