making music, writing culture

Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of African Women

Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of Afric...

Woman Poet Yandé Codou Sene Sings Senegalese Independence, African Creativity: While the work of West African strumming male praise-singers or griots/jalis, has been studied by Western researchers from the earliest years of folklore and ethnology, the region continues to be animated by the rich voices of praise-singing women, whose poetry and song draw from detailed knowledge of the lineages pf neighboring families, a talent for improvisation on ancient songs, themes and rhythms, and an ability to bring a crowd into chanting and dancing communion in the space of a few poetic bars.
Documenting Senegalese Pop Star Oumou Sow

Documenting Senegalese Pop Star Oumou So...

I spent the day yesterday with mblalax (Senegalese pop)-rapper and stage dancer Oumou Sow and her group of male and female dancers, Les Amazones. I thought this would be a great opportunity to both share some of the great photos from my fieldwork with Oumou (many of which are from yesterday's spectacle) and to show you what my exuberant fieldnotes look like after a day's work in the field.
Oumou Sow, Senegal’s Flying Lady Pop Star

Oumou Sow, Senegal’s Flying Lady Pop S...

Oumou Sow, who has been a star Senegalese mbalax dancer for some time, has emerged this year with her song “Fly to Fly (Decollage)” with a style she calls “Rap Mbalax.”
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