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Posts Tagged ‘Djembe’

The Drum is a Woman!

Odu means womb and Odu refers to any opening between Heaven and Earth or the visible and the invisible realms of existence. Odu Osa Meji

This is the essence of the matter:  The creative power of women rests in the womb; her ability to open the door for the souls of the ancestors to move from the non-physical into physical existence.  In this manner women have the Power to “uphold the world.” Death is mitigated by the  guarantee of physical  rebirth.   The physical cycle of life becomes as fluid; eternal. 

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Born to Drum Drum Camp for Women

You’re in luck! Today we begin a three  week series on women drummers; those who have paved the way, those who hold open the doors, and those that have walked through to fill the rooms!  Look for articles on Ubaka Hill, Fatu Lady Drummer, Mabiba Baegne and others.  But first, enjoy this short clip present by Women Drummers International and feel the power of women on the drums! You will be glad that you did! 
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Kandia Kouyate

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I admit, I am biased towards the musicians of Mali.  Perhaps it is because their culture forms the heart of the old Mandeng Empire and the music and mysteries of the music there are older, more complex and piercing.  Perhaps it is because it is here that Sundiata rose and music flourished to support his reign.  We are completing our seires, the history of djembe drumming, and just wanted to give you a taste of what it is like in Bamako, Mali; music everyhwere.  All day and all night music reigns in the mind of the visitor.  Check back in for the articles.

National Ballet of Senegal 2006

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Senegalese artists had a tremendous impact on African dance in the United States as the result of the influences of Mor Thiam and Katherine Dunham between 1968 and 1974. This video of the National Ballet of Senegal filmed in 2006 is  excellent  in that it shows the use of both the djembe, indigenous to the Mandeng cultures of the Old Mali Empire and the Sabar of the Wolof people of Senegal!

Sabar Dance of the Wolof: Two Clips

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One Master Drummer told us that During the Civil Wars to Unite the Old Mali empire the Wolof king turned his back on the rising king, Sundiata Kinte.  Once Sundiata conquered the nations, he turned and chased the  king through Africa and to the Western Coast of Senegal.  Once there, Sundiata  forced him and his people to  dance and expose their genitals, a way of expressing their shame for their tribal conduct.  I don’t know if the story is true, but there is definitely no dance form like Sabar, where the movements are so openly sensual and sexual.  It may have started as a dance of disgrace centuries ago, but it is definitely a moving, sensual and erotic form of dance.

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