Ethnolyrical

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.
Meet Toussa, Senegal’s New Woman Rapper

Meet Toussa, Senegal’s New Woman R...

(Musical Clips, Photos, Lyrics) I first saw 18-year-old rapper Toussa perform in May 2009 at her high school end-of-the-year party in the dusty struggling Dakar suburb of Guediawaye, Senegal. I asked her how she would like to be introduced in this entry, her first public piece, and she gave me these words:
Rouge, Danger La!: Women Griots of Senegal (Field Recording)

Rouge, Danger La!: Women Griots of Seneg...

The traditional practice of tassou, or improvised musical poetry, spans each of Senegal’s ethnic groups and is practiced primarily by women called tassoukats
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