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Doundounba: Dance of the Strong Men & Women

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I am partial to community dance and love seeing men dance in community with their brethren and families.  Doundounba is one such community dance.  Historically, the dance was only performed by men. One way the dance was used was as a way to prepare for war.  The men would dance and strike each other with iron rods.  The striking was to raise the chi in much the way Native Americans strike themselves with sage or the orientals strike themselves with bamboo rods.  Another way the dance was used was as a way to solve disputes.  According to one master drummer, once a year a doundounba festival was held.  All men, with unresolved disputes would enter the arena and dance doundounba, striking each other with iron rods.  Last man standing won the dispute.

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