Want to get up and dance? Shake a little soul onto the dance floor? Come, let’s find the beat, West African-style… with the Djembe, the drum of choice.
Use it or lose it:
The top of the drum is spread tightly with goat skin. Loads of goat meat is consumed in West Africa, often wrapped in banana leaves [recipe] or stewed, so making a djembe with the skin is a fantastic way to use the whole animal, not just the meat. As my mom always said, “waste not, want not.”
The goats in West Africa live a tough, tough existence which, in turn, makes their skin tougher…. which, in turn, makes the drum sound different than djembes in other regions.
I like to scour the net for people who have traveled, who can give me a picture of the foreign lands I can only dream about. Today I’d like to share with you two descriptions of dance in Guinea and Guinea Bissau… descriptions that I found inspirational. That made me want to move. Shake. And shimmy.
Words about Guinea
I will miss dance…the dancing is full on, jaw dropping, magnificently strong and powerful, hot and fierce, full of passion and emotion like nothing I’ve ever seen…I find myself desperately missing the freedom of dancing, the way you lose yourself in the rhythm of the djembe, and the tenacity displayed by our talented teachers…
(via Erin Jane’s travel blog)
Words about Guinea-Bissau
It was really lively dance, not even closely resembling anything I’ve seen in life or in National Geographic. Amazing, they had a fire at first but then they were dancing so wildly through and around the fire that the stamped it out with their bare feet.
(via Alexander’s travel blog)
Photos: Jos van Zetten, ZSM
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