Ethnolyrical

making music, writing culture

Dance Party: The Music of Movement

Dance Party: The Music of Movement

This photo essay documents the transformation of a Dakar city street into a spectacle of fashion and dance and a soundscape of traditional drums. On April 4th, 2010, Dancer Maman Diallo celebrated the anniversary of Senegalese national independence with a traditional women's drum and dance party (called a sabar) in her neighborhood of Medina, Dakar.
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.
Sufi Movement, Light, Voice at a Senegalese Baay Fall Dahira

Sufi Movement, Light, Voice at a Senegal...

(Field Recording, Photos) The outer workers' and artisinal suburbs of Dakar, Senegal (Banlieue) flicker with firelights each Thursday nights, waving in the Sufi sacred night's shifting air. Standing one one unpaved, lamplit crossroads atop a pile of Senegal's famous fine Sahel dust, one can hear what seems to be an infinite trail of tumbling drums and echoing voices arising from the celebration of Baay Fall (Sufi) praise groups called dahiras.
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:
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