Popo Carnival in Bonoua, Ivory Coast, is a celebration of cultural heritage of the Aboure people. Running for one week, the carnival is considered to be the Ivorians' version of Mardi Gras and involves gastronomic competitions, pageants, traditional dances and sports days. People parade down the street in bright colours, holding placards and dressing up in reference to the carnival's name 'Popo', which means mask.

Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A man wears a mask, during the parade at the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP

Many men dress in women's clothes and make-up, while women show off hairstyles which reach towering heights, wound tightly with coloured material. Children dance, while others re-enact scenes of forced labour, reflecting on the days of the colonial period.

The Ivory Coast officially became a French colony on March 10, 1893, with slavery not becoming abolished until 1905. In 1958, Ivory Coast became an autonomous member of the French Community and gained independence on 7 August, 1960.

Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A woman shows off her hair style during the Popo CarnivalSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A Miss Pageant contestant takes part in the paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A witch doctor dances on a bowl-shaped mortar during the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Men dressed as women kiss as they celebrate the Popo CarnivalLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Men dressed up as women, pose for the camera during the parade Luc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A man dressed as woman looks on during the Popo Carnival of BonouaLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
People with painted faces take part in a parade during the Popo Carnival of BonouaLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
People take pictures of  girl during a parade at the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Men dressed as women take part in a paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A woman shows off her hairstyle at the paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
People reenact a scene of forced labor in the days of the colonial periodSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A man on stilts takes part in the paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A man poses with cardboard firegun and bulletproof vest with the inscription 'Ivory Coast fights against terrorists, Boko Haram, police' during the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Men wearing women's clothes attend the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A woman with a painted face takes part in a parade during the Popo Carnival of BonouaLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Men dressed as women walk towards the paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
People re-enact a scene of forced labour in the days of the colonial period, during the Popo CarnivalSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Young men present a war dance during the celebrations Sia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A woman with takes part in a parade during the Popo Carnival of BonouaLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
People with painted faces take part in a parade during the Popo Carnival of BonouaLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Children dance during the paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Men dressed as women take part in the paradeLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A man waves to the crowd as he takes part in the carnivalLuc Gnago/ Reuters
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
A man wearing a mask jokes with the crowd during the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP
Popo Carnival of Bonoua
Laureates of the Awoulaba contest parade during the Popo Carnival in BonouaSia Kambou/ AFP