Posts Tagged ‘Women Djembe Drummers’
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The year was 1993. I arrived in a small Central Michigan Town after driving two days in the rain. I had caught a cold and was feeling quite sick. After a long wait in line, I made it through the check-in process at the Michigan’s Women’s Music Festival. This was my first Mich Fest experience. A kindly soul hauled my gear and helped me set up my tent. Fever and sniffles aside, I feel into a deep and seemingly dreamless sleep. My mission to go to Michigan for the festival was clear. There were black women drumming there and I wanted to meet them.
Well, many have called and asked why such a heavy article as Magic & Ritual Abuse: Female Circumcision in Central and West Africa and how does this relate to women drummers? The answer must be given in social and cultural context. We wrote earlier on the history of djebe drumming in America, and that the djembe came to popularity in the early to mid 70’s. Many Africans began teaching traditional drumming in the United States and later established drum camps in Africa frequented by many American and European students.
Women in Africa have their own drums. There is not a lot of information available on all the various drums for women, so we are excited abut this clip. Here the women of the Baga People of Guinea sing and dance with the Matimbo; a drum akin to the dounnouns. I don’t know. Look like they kickin’ up some egun to me!
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The exchange of culture between West Africa and the United States and Europe is mutual. One of the greatest impact of western culture upon West Africa is the shift towards women playing traditional Drums of Power such as the djembe. The following clip shows a group of young women performing with their teacher on the djembe, a feat that would have resulted in severe repercussion for the women and the teacher as recent as 15 years ago. No doubt, the fact that women are the greatest seekers of African drum teachers in the United States and Europe is a prominent factor. There is significant income to made from women students. Significant income has also been made by students, many of whom are women, traveling to Africa to participate in drumming intensives. Many benefit from these intensives including those who provide housing, cook meals, escort and teach.