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Listen to Yaay Fall Senegalese Sufi Praise Song (audio)

A field recording from my ethnographic work with a group of young Baay Fall Sufi Muslims in Dakar’s outer suburb of Guediawaye, Senegal. This longer recording features the singing of praise singer Binta Sarr Diop, a woman devotee (or Yaay Fall) of Cheikh Ibrahima Fall, who was a confidante of Senegalese/African nationalist Sufi leader Sheikh Amadou Bamba (1853-1927). Together, the two maintained Senegalese solidarity and cultural strength under extreme pressure from French agricultural, social and religious colonialists. Today, a growing group of followers of Bamba (called Mourides) and its sub-group Baay Fall, follow global Sufi tradition by gathering in groups of 20-300 once a week for dahira, in which they recite praise poetry for Sufi leaders, sing praise songs (zikr) to Allah (God),  discuss community issues  and receive religious instruction. The Baay Fall dance in a classic “ring shout” pattern around groups of women and men singers and drummers. The sound is broadcast far throughout Senegal’s neighborhoods and fill the sonic landscape until dawn on Thursday nights (Alxames), a popular time for dahira meetings.

This is a field recording I did with Binta Sarr Diop of Pikine, Senegal, and her Dahira.

Cheikh Ibrahima Fall, Spiritual Leader of the Baay Faal (Mouride) Sufi Order

Sufi Praise Singer Binta Sarr Diop, featured here:

BintaSarrEditSicarmp3 by Ethnolyrical

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