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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Information About Two Very Old (African American Originated) Dance Forms: "The Breakdown" & "The Breakaway"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post features information about the 19th century & early 20th century African American "Breakdown" dances and the 1920s African American originated "Breakaway" dance moves.

This post also includes a film clip that alleges to be a performance of a "breakdown" or "pseudo-"breakdown". A film clip of an early "breakaway" dance move is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all those who are featured in these film clips and thanks to the publishers of those film clips on YouTube.
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A pancocojams post about a separate genre of 19th century/20th century American music called "breakdown" will be published ASAP and that link will be given here.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE BREAKDOWN (DANCE) IN THE UNITED STATES
Excerpt #1
From Black Dance From 1619 to Today (2nd revised edition) by Lynne Fauley Emery (Princeton Book Company, 1988, originally published in 1972) [given without foot notes numbers or citations]
page 139
"While the Breakdowns, the Cake-Walk, fiddle playing, and patting Juba were taking place on the plantations there were Afro-American dances in other places as well."
-snip-
Notice the plural for the word "Breakdown", which indicates that there were different types of dances that were referred to as "Breakdowns".

**
pages 186, 188
"On July 1, 1848, the (Illustrated London) News stated that "The most brilliant assemblage of rank and fashion have honoured the Gardens to witness the unparalleled PERFORMANCES of JUBA, immortalised by Boz in his American Notes...

Boz's description" was, of course, that of Charles Dickens in his book, American Notes, written shortly after his visit to the United States in 1842. While Dickens did not name the young Negro dancer he saw at Five Points in New York city, his description closely resembles later observations of Juba's dancing and is therefore included here. Dickens advised his readers that the dance he saw was a regular Breakdown, which began with five or six couples moving onto the floor and
....marshalled by a lively young negro, who is the wit of the assembly, and the greatest dancer ever known.

But the dance commences. Every gentleman sets as long as he likes to the opposite lady, and the opposite lady to him, and all are so long about it that the sport begins to languish, when suddenly the lively hero dashes in to the rescue. Instantly the fiddler grins, and goes at it tooth and nail: there is new energy in the tambourine...Single shuffle, double shuffle, cut and crisscut: snapping his fingers, rolling his eyes, turning in his knees, presenting the backs of his legs in front, spinning about on his toes and heels like nothing but the man's fingers on the tambourines; dancing with two left legs, two right legs, two wooden legs, two wire legs, two spring legs-all sorts of legs and no legs-what is this to him? And in what walk of life, or dance of life, does man ever get such stimulating applause as thunders about him, when having danced his partner off her feet, and himself too, he finishes by leaping gloriously on the bar counter, and calling for something to drink...
-snip-
Notice that this description indicates that the male dancer (probably the famous dancer called "Juba") was dancing with a female partner.

On page 188, the same critic writing in that London newspaper mentions the "Virginny Breakdown".

**
page 192, 193
"Part One in the traditional minstrel show always ended with a dance, called the Walk-Around, done by the entire cast. Sometimes this was repeated as the finale of Part Three also. Discussing the Walk=Around, Nathan said in 1943 that this dance was still well remembered-borrowed from and modelled after the dances of the present day."

The Walk-Around was mentioned usually in connection with the Breakdown or old fashioned Hoe-Down. The Walk Around was derived from the Ring-Shout and the Breakdown from the old challenge dances such as the Juba....

Charles Sherlock described the format of the Walk-Around and continued with a description of a Breakdown which sounds similar to that of the Juba.
The walk-around was always made the finale of the first part, and was usually repeated at the end of the show as a spectacle on which to drip the curtain. It was intended to be written in march-time, and to its spirited strains the whole company would circumnavigate the stage, in a dance-step that was little more than a jerky elevation of the legs below the knees, much like the "buck and wing" dances of the present day. It was as long ago as this-the walk-around being in highest state with the Bryant's Minstrels in the sixties- that the spatting of dance-time with the outspread palms on the knees was invented. To this manual accompaniment the breakdowns were often done. Cleverly executed, this tattoo will set the saltatorial nerves in motion as quickly as the catchiest tune."

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Excerpt #2:
From http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3brkdwn.htm
"The Breakdown
The Break-Down was an African-American Slave dance that was popular around the Reconstruction-era of the 1880-90's. There are different versions of the breakdown and variations from one era to the next such as the Birmingham and Cincinnati breakdowns. The Breakdown was later mixed with other dances such as tap, Jazz and Swing dances. The dance has its roots in the Hornpipes, jigs, Strathspeys, and reels, Hoe-downs, Clogs etc.

In the Notebook "Jig, Clog and Breakdown Made Easy" by Wm. F. Bacon he states the "Plantation breakdown" as thus:
1st Breakdown STEP: "Jump on both feet crossed, then throw right foot as high as possible, at the same time hop on the left foot, (2 motions). Repeat it, leaving the right foot up in front. Then hop on left foot, bring the right down, tap it and carry it behind. Hop on left foot, (3 motions). Then make five taps quick, commencing with the right foot, which is crossed behind the left. This is the first part of the Breakdown step, and is repeated on the other foot, reversed. Then done again same as first time. Then make a Cross and five taps quick, moving forward and commencing with the right foot.

2nd Breakdown STEP: Shuffle right foot, hop on left, carry right foot behind and tap it firm (3 motions). Then hop on right foot, lift up left high and bring it down solid, (2 motions). Repeat it. Then hop on both feet together, jump up and strike the ankles together, bringing down the left foot first, then the right solid. Tap left foot, then spring, bringing the right foot down first, then the left. Then repeat all, commencing on the other foot, and reversing everything.

3rd Breakdown STEP: Tap left foot. Tap right, carrying it high in front, hop on left foot. Tap right, carrying it behind, hop on left foot, tap right, carrying it high in front, hop on left foot (7 motions). Shuffle right, hop on left, tap right, carrying behind.

Hop on left, tap right, hop on left, tap right, hop on left, tap right. Now repeat the whole, commencing on the other foot and reversing it. Then do it again same as first time, make a cross and three very firm taps, commencing with the right foot, with the feet wide apart.

The following Breakdown steps are to be done all together directly after the third step:-- Do the cross four times, reversing it each time, then bring the toes together with heels apart (1 motion). Then turn the left toe out, and at the same time carry the right far behind and across the left foot (2d motion). Then repeat it 3 or 7 times (reversing it each time), at the option of the performer. Tap left foot, shuffle right, tap right, tap left, slide back slightly on both feet (5 motions). Then repeat it a number of times, optional with the performer. Turn around on left foot, describing a circle with the right foot. Tap right, tap left, shuffle right.

Tap right foot, tap left. Then loop on left foot, at the same time slide the right in front and across the left foot. Then repeat it, commencing with the right foot, and reversing it all through. Then retire, jumping on both feet, with cap in hand, or any way that may suggest itself" (end notebook).

Basic Step for: The "Cincinnati Breakdown" (9/1927- Dance Magazine.) ...
Feet apart, Hop up and come down with one knee bent. Come up with short jerks. It is optional as to whether one or both knees are bent on coming down. This can be mixed with other movement to lengthen the dance.

Basic Step for: The "Down East Breakdown" (Music: Clog Dance.) ... Form as for Spanish Dance, except two couples face each other up and down the room. Eight hands round, all right and left--ladies chain--all forward and back, forward again and pass onto next couples (every other couple raise their hands while the others stoop and pass through then turn around at each end of the set."

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: Vintage Breakdown / Buck dance (Pickaninnys Edison 1903)



Sonny Watson Uploaded on Feb 22, 2013

an old Edison video short of three dancers doing a kinda pseudo Breakdown / Buck dance.
-snip-
The term "pickaninnys" is a referent for Black children and - in the case of this YouTube video-a referent for Black people in general. In both cases, I consider that word to be offensive whether intentionally or not.

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BREAKAWAY DANCE STEP
From https://prezi.com/3sjohe1aepzz/history-of-dance/ History of Dance by Mary Caldarella on 21 December 2012 1
"The Breakaway dance originated in the mid to late 1920s in Harlem by primarily African American communities. The Breakaway was danced to jazz and developed from the Texas Tommy and the Charleston. This style of dance got its name because while dancing you literally must break away from your partner and improvise your own dance moves."
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-texas-tommy-early-20th-century.html for a pancocojams post on the Texas Tommy.

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From http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3brkawy.htm
"The Break-A-Way ... (a Swing Dance) was originally a syncopated Two-step. The dancing couple would split or "breakaway" from each other still holding hands (open position) and perform a solo impromptu of the same rhythm/beat of the music and come back together again (closed position). The Break-Away was the name of swing before being named the Lindy Hop by Shorty George in 1927. The Breakaway was a cross between the "Texas Tommy, Two-step, Apache Dance, Turkey Trot, Cakewalk and Grizzly Bear.

Prior dances, with the exception of the Apache and Texas Tommy did not have sections that you "Broke-away" from your partner (or Danced in open position), they mainly danced in closed position...

The Break-Away was only danced by African-Americans at the time. Whites were just starting to find entertainment in Harlem and were not very fond of "Race Music" (the blues), they just were not quite ready to dance those "Negro Dances" of those (unfortunate) racially segregated times. It was mainly danced to slow to medium Ragtime music and Blues. Shorty George Snowden was the "King" of the Break-A-Way in the mid 1920's.

When the Charleston became popular in the 1920's, the Breakaway and Charleston merged, as Harlem grew, it to grew. The "Break-A-Way" was now ready to be called the "Lindy Hop" but would take a Newspaper, a Dance Contest (marathon dance actually,) a man named "Shorty George" Snowden and the "Savoy Ballroom" to do so in 1927/28.The Breakaway quickly lost a lot of the Turkey Trot and Grizzly bear, however the Texas Tommy, Charleston, Cakewalk and Apache remain in the Lindy Hop to this day!. The breakaway as a dance is no longer done today however. The Landler Dance of the 1720's also used a breakaway/ freestyle basic as a variation to the dance, it was almost described as a "solo Jam", done by the man.

Spellings used are Breakaway (most common), Break-away, Break-A-Way"

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: Legend Shorty George Snowden dances the Charleston & Breakaway in After Seben (1929)



JazzMAD London, Published on Jan 20, 2016

Learn to dance like this with JazzMAD, the authentic swing and jazz dance academy in North London. Sign up for workshops and courses at:
www.jazzmad.co.uk

In this clip: George Snowden aka Shorty George, and his dancers from the Savoy Ballroom (Harlem, New York), dance in a faux contest to music by Chick Webb And His Orchestra, in the 1929 film "After Seben." The announcer, James Barton, also dances in an eccentric style.

George Snowden is the third leader to dance, the couple is announced as "Shorty Stumps & Liza Underdunk". No resources seem to list the real name of his partner. I'm always troubled by the way swing dance history remembers leaders and forgets followers. From my research, I believe this is Mattie Purnell, Shorty's partner during this period. There are references to George & Mattie being "the smallest pair on the floor", and Liza Underdunk certainly matches that description in this clip. Please comment if you have information otherwise!

This clip represents a transitional moment in the history of partnered jazz dancing. You can see each couple dancing the Charleston on its way in evolution to the Lindy Hop, with what we call the "Breakaway" in between (being the moment the dancers begin to break away from closed position, to Lindy Hop's signature open position). These are early "swingouts".

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Five Videos Of Traditional Balanta (West African) Music & Dance

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides showcases five videos of traditional Balanta (West African) music and dance. Information about the Balanta ethnic group is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos and all those who are quoted in this post and thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
-snip-
* I just happened upon these videos of traditional Balanta music and dance while "YouTube surfing" for African music/dance videos.

Additions and corrections to the information found in this post would be appreciated.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/02/homage-to-omar-mane-senegalese-balanta.html for a related pancocojams post on Senegalese (Balanta) vocalist/composer Omar Mané.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE BALANTA ETHNIC GROUP
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanta_people
"The Balanta (same spelling in Guinea-Bissau Creole and Portuguese, balante in French transliteration), meaning literally “those who resist”, are an ethnic group found in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and the Gambia. They are the largest ethnic group of Guinea-Bissau, representing more than one-quarter of the population. Despite their numbers, they have remained outside the colonial and postcolonial state because of their social organization. The Balanta can be divided into four subgroups, three of which are Balanta Kentohe, Balanta Ganja, and Balanta Brassa, the largest of which are the Balanta Brassa.

Archaeologists believe that the people who became the Balanta migrated to present-day Guinea-Bissau in small groups between the tenth and fourteenth centuries C.E. Oral tradition amongst the Balanta has it that they migrated westward from the area that is now Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to escape drought and wars. During the nineteenth century, they spread throughout the area that is now Guinea-Bissau and southern Senegal in order to resist the expansion of the Kaabu kingdom. Today, the Balanta are mostly found in the southern and central regions of Guinea-Bissau...

Music
The Balanta play a gourd lute instrument called a kusunde. On the kusunde instrument, the short string is at the bottom rather than at the top, the top string was of middle length and the middle string is the longest although it was capoed by the middle length string and its open sounding length is therefore the same as that string. The tones produced by the instrument are in all: top string open F#, top string stopped G#, middle string open C#, middle string stopped D#, bottom drone string A#/B. The Balanta kusunde is similar to the Jola akonting. The Balanta also play the Balafon which is composed of 24 layers instead of 12 or 14 found in the Mandingue community.[1][3]"...

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1: MikeBennett presents...Balanta Dance



omarmane Uploaded on May 3, 2008

This is the dance from the Balanta tribe...captured by Mike Bennett in Gambia, West Africa

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Example #2: Balanta Dance



poppyplace Uploaded on Jun 16, 2010

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Example #3: Casamance: La danse de l'éthnie BALANTE à THIAR



Amo Published on Nov 4, 2014

Un concert qui a eu lieu à THIAR, un village pas loin de Dattacounda, département de Goudomp. Avec le groupe Njama Naaba. à THIAR comme dans toute la casamance chaque personne parle au moins 3 langues différentes de sa langue maternelle. Dans ce concert les manjacks, les madingues, les peuls,les mankagnes dansent parfaitement la danse balante.C'est ça l' intégration, culturelle.
-snip-
Google translate from French to English
A concert that took place in THIAR, a village not far from Dattacounda, department of Goudomp. With the group Njama Naaba. In THIAR as in all casamance each person speaks at least 3 different languages of his / her mother tongue. In this concert the manjacks, the madingues, the peuls, the mankagnes perfectly dance the balante dance. That is integration, cultural.
-snip-
Casamance = Senegal

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Example #4: Danse Balante



Alphousseyni Seydi Published on Mar 13, 2015

Balantacounda

Created with MAGIX Video deluxe 2015

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Example #5: Test KatMandou



Siga Massaly, Published on Nov 8, 2015

Le groupe Katmandou de Balantacounda fait de grandes choses avec le peu de moyen qu'il a. Il mérité d'être soutenu , n'est-ce pas ?
-snip-
Translated from French to English:
The Kathmandu group of Balantacounda does great things with the little means it has. He deserves to be supported, is not it?
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Visitor comments are welcome.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Homage To Omar Mané - Senegalese (Balanta) lead singer of Njama Niaaba

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides showcases two videos of Omar Mané, the lead vocalist and composer for the Senegalese (Balanta ethnic group) musical group "Njama Niaaba". Omar Mané died suddenly in late December 2014.*

Information about the Balanta ethnic group is also included in this post along with information about Omar Mané and Njama Niaaba and selected comments from the discussion thread of one of the showcased videos.

The Addendum to this post features three videos of a concert or concerts that were held in homage to Omar Mané.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Omar Mané for his musical legacy and thanks to other members of Njama Niaaba. Rest in peace, Omar Mané.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
-snip-
* I just happened upon these videos of Omar Mané while "YouTube surfing" for African music/dance videos. I tried to find information about this vocalist and his music group but haven't been successful in finding much information-particularly in English. My apologies for not being certain about the date of Omar Mané's passing. Additions and corrections to the information found in this post would be appreciated.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/02/five-videos-of-traditional-balanta-west.html for a related pancocojams post that showcases five YouTube videos of traditional Balanta music and dance.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE BALANTA ETHNIC GROUP
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanta_people
"The Balanta (same spelling in Guinea-Bissau Creole and Portuguese, balante in French transliteration), meaning literally “those who resist”, are an ethnic group found in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and the Gambia. They are the largest ethnic group of Guinea-Bissau, representing more than one-quarter of the population. Despite their numbers, they have remained outside the colonial and postcolonial state because of their social organization. The Balanta can be divided into four subgroups, three of which are Balanta Kentohe, Balanta Ganja, and Balanta Brassa, the largest of which are the Balanta Brassa.

Archaeologists believe that the people who became the Balanta migrated to present-day Guinea-Bissau in small groups between the tenth and fourteenth centuries C.E. Oral tradition amongst the Balanta has it that they migrated westward from the area that is now Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to escape drought and wars. During the nineteenth century, they spread throughout the area that is now Guinea-Bissau and southern Senegal in order to resist the expansion of the Kaabu kingdom. Today, the Balanta are mostly found in the southern and central regions of Guinea-Bissau"...

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EXCERPT FROM ARTICLE ABOUT OMAR MANE
[Pancocojams Editor: This excerpt is translated from French to English by Google Translate, and given as it was found except for the word Balanta being given as "balancing" in that translation.]
From http://musicinafrica.net/fr/taxonomy/term/9428 Njama Niaaba: The lead vocal Omar Mané, struck by an infarction: the orchestra Njama Niaaba loses the voice, Jan 14, 2015 by Lamine BA
"The musical group, the bearer and promoter of the culture of the ballade, lost last weekend its lead vocal and composer. Omar Mané left brutally, depriving his orchestra of his voice, and leaving all the Balantacounda in disarray...

Struck by fate, he was buried at 14:40 on Saturday in Niafor his native village, located to the south east of the department of Goudomp.

Lead vocal, Omar Mané is the conductor of the Njama Niaaba. A name given to this orchestra to immortalize a heroine of the balancing [Balanta] community who had to conduct warlike expeditions in the presence of men. "She is endowed with a mystical power that places her above her community," Omar Mané testified. "Unknown to the younger generation, its history that marked its era is rich and full of teachings," confided the deceased in an interview conducted at the last Balenbuger festival n Sédhiou.

Omar Mané fakes the company to his friends at the age of 37 years. His band was founded in 1994, in Niafor by a band of friends. "At first it's a childhood story. Later on, we thought of putting it seriously by focusing on the quality of a renowned balanfonist son that I am. My comrades and I thought of revalorizing this legacy, "said the artist.

The group that wants to be ambassador of Balantacounda, has produced three albums. The first is called Balusna kijaago which means, "Let's value our culture". A way of inviting the balancing community to mobilize to valorize the balancing language which in its eyes is on a dangerous downward slope, and which must be redressed. This album launched the group and brought the expected results, as evidenced by the enthusiasm of young people who sing their music at concerts.

The second album entitled Doua, is a solicitation of the blessing of the wise for a better fulfillment of the young, who are the hope of tomorrow. Sounia or circumcision in a balancing [Balanta] country, is the last album that attests to the confirmation and maturity of a group that makes hearts vibrate.

The Njama Niaaba is based on a new musical style, born from a mixture of diverse sounds of the natural Casamance but whose balafon remains the key element. It is the "afro balante". The aim is to highlight the balancing [Balanta] balafon, which is not well known to the general public. "However, it has features that distinguish it from the dialonké balafon and the Indian xylophone, thanks to its varied and rich diatonic range. We realized this during our tours around the world, notably at the festival called "triangle du balafon" held in Mali.

On December 27, the group performed in Kinthiengrou. After this farewell concert to fans of the Boudhie taken by the announcement of his death, the music lovers were invited to Diattacounda in the department of Goudomp but due to a malaise of the vocal lead, the concert was postponed And will eventually not take place. While promoting the Baltic culture, the problem of peace in Casamance is on the menu of the music of Njama Niaaba. The orchestra organizes concerts every year and pays the money collected to the parents' associations, in order to put an end to the provisional shelters in this part of the country"...

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1: M-Seydi



nielsm22 Uploaded on Jan 28, 2010
Omar Mane
-snip-
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread
2010
sangalang baa
"hey ma guy this is a great sound it over touched and i wish you could post much of this, i did re found and touched another great aspect of africa with rich tradition and our beautiful langauge ooooooooooooooooo Mama africa lets go back to tradition without known our past then we mean nothing to be in this world. Africa is our home and it will always be there for africans so with our culture and tradition we will get to were we wanted to be blessing alway from the gambia."

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2014
MainaCaramel Bee
"C vraiment dommage kil n'y ait pratiquement que du Mbalax ,Rnb , Rap Français qui passe à longueur de journée dans nos chaines nationales sénégalaises au lieu de venir en aide a ces artistes ki sont du pays ils préfèrent mettre en avant d'autres musiques c pas normal jai limpression kil y a un complexe de la part des médias au niveau de certaines ehtnies ou cultures au Sénégal ,ce genre de musique devrait être mis au devant de la scène et non dans les coulisses heureusement que Youtube existe lol sinon la musique est vraiment bien jkiffe !"
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From French to English
"C truly a pity that there was practically nothing but Mbalax, Rnb, Rap French who spend all day in our national Senegalese chains instead of helping these artists ki are from the country they prefer to put forward other music C not normal jai impression k y there is a complex on the part of the media at the level of certain ehtnies or cultures in Senegal, this kind of music should be put in front of the scene and not behind the scenes luckily that Youtube exists lol if not the music Is really good jkiffe!"

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2015
Ameth BIAYE
"repose en paix omar mané tu as bien représenté la musique balante"
-snip-
"Rest in peace omar mané you represented well the balante music"

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baba sow
"homage à c grd musicien omar et a tt la famille particuliermnt la cmunoté balante.c du bn music j'ador c son"
-snip-
Translated from French to English:
Tribute to c great musician omar and has tt the particular familymnt the cmunoté balante.c of bn music j'ador c son

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2016
youssouph badji
"On ne connait la vraie valeur d'une pesonne que kan, elle nous a quitté. Je ne suis pas balante, mais ce que je vpis, cé très cool. Cé ce que nous voulons. Malheureusement, il est parti au delà, sans que bcp de Sénégalais ne le découvrent véritablement. Je me rapelle l'avaoir suivi une fois au Centre Talibou Dabo, invité alors par les communauté balante de Grand -Yoff et Parcelles. Que Dieu l'accueille au Paradis. Mané Balanté."
-snip-
Translated from French to English [with my translation corrections given in brackets]
"One knows the true value of a person as kan, she [he] has left us. I am not balanced [Balanta], but what I see, it is very cool. What we want. Unfortunately, he went beyond, without the bcp of Senegalese really discover it. I remember having followed it once at the Talibou Dabo Center, then invited by the Grand-Yoff and Parcelles swinging communities. May God receive him in Paradise. Mané Balanté."

**
youssouph badji
"Moi j'ai eu la chance de le suivre en pleine prestation, alors invité par le communauté Balante des Parcelles, Grand Yoff, au Centre Talibo Dabo. Sincèrement, je pense qu'il mérite qu'o perpétue sa mémoire en parrainnant des manifestation culturelles sur toute la Casamance, de même le saxphoniste de Ucas, Kunta...... merci. RIP"
-snip-
Translated from French to English
"I had the chance to follow him in full performance, then invited by the community Balante des Parcelles, Grand Yoff, at the Talibo Dabo Center. Sincerely, I think that it deserves that o perpetuates its memory by sponsoring cultural manifestations on all the Casamance, likewise the saxophonist of Ucas, Kunta ...... thank you. RIP"

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Example #2: SUUNAA dernier clip d'Omar Mané du Njama Niaaba



SedhiouTV Published on Oct 27, 2016
-snip-
Google translate from French to English: SUUNAA latest clip of Omar Mané from Njama Niaaba

I wrote a comment below about what I believe this song and video are about.

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ADDENDUM
Example #1: Omar Mané ,Njama Niaaba ,has gone !



Ousmane Demba Published on Mar 25, 2015

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Example #2: Njama Naaba: La communauté Balante du Sénégal rend un vibrant Hommage à Omar MANE



SnlTV, Published on Jul 7, 2016

La communauté Balante du Sénégal rend un vibrant Hommage à Omar MANE le chanteur Njama Naaba
-snip-
Translated from French to English: "The Balante community of Senegal makes a vibrant tribute to Omar MANE the singer Njama Naaba"

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Example #3: GOUDOMP AVEC LE MAIRE ABLAYE BOSCO SADIO Hommage à Omare Mané



IBARA TV Published on Jan 8, 2017

Hommage à Omare Mané

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cuban (Lucumi) Bata Drums (information & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides excerpts from one article and one dictionary about Cuban (Lucumi) Bata Drums. This post also showcases five videos of Cuban (Lucumi) bata drums.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, religious, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to all those who are featured in these videos.

Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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INFORMATION ABOUT BATA DRUMS
Article Excerpt #1
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat%C3%A1_drum
"A Batá drum is a double-headed drum shaped like an hourglass with one end larger than the other. The percussion instrument is used primarily for the use of religious or semi-religious purposes for the native culture from the land of Yoruba, located in Nigeria, as well as by worshippers of Santería in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and in the United States. The Batá drum's popular functions are entertainment and to convey messages. Its early function was as a drum of different gods, drum of royalty, drum of ancestors and drum of politicians. Batá drum impacted on all spheres of life.[1]

The Lukumí (or commonly called santería) religion and Batá drums are closely associated. The drums are played simultaneously (often with a rattle or "atchere") to create polyrhythmic compositions, or "toques" during santería ceremonies. A ceremony with batá drums is generally known as a "toque," "tambor de santo," or "bembé," but ceremonies can also be accompanied by shaken gourd-rattle "chékere" (in English "shekere") ensembles (usually with tumbadora, also called conga drums). There are estimated to be at least 140 different toques for the spirits (saints, or santos) and their different manifestations. There are two important "rhythm suites" that use the sacred batá drums. The first is called "Oru del Igbodu" (a liturgical set of rhythms), alternatively called "Oru Seco" (literally "Dry Oru", or a sequence of rhythms without vocals), which is usually played at the beginning of a "tambor de santo" that includes 23 standard rhythms for all the orishas. The selections of the second suite include within them the vocal part to be performed by a vocalist/chanter (akpwon) who engages those attending the ceremony in a call-and-response (African) style musical experience in which a ritual is acted out wherein an "initiate" (one who through the great spirit Añá is granted the ability to perfectly play the Batá drums) plays the new Batá set, and thereafter is introduced to the old Batá set. This is said to "transfer" (through the initiate) the spirit or Añá of the drums from the old set into the new set.

Certain long-standing rules and rituals govern the construction, handling, playing, and care of the sacred batá: traditionally only non-castrated male deer or goat hide was used—female goats along with bulls, cows, and sheep were considered unsuitable; also only an initiate was considered worthy to touch or play the batá as only they have undergone the full ritual of "receiving Añá" granting them the forces deemed necessary to play the drums. Also, before a ceremony, the drummers would wash themselves in omiero, a cleansing water, pray, and for some time abstain from sex.

Also traditionally in Cuba, in Havana the batá are rarely played after sundown, while in Matanzas toque ceremonies often begin at night."...

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Article Excerpt #2
From https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.proyecto-orunmila.org/index.php%3FItemid%3D82%26option%3Dcom_dictionary%26view%3Ddictionary%26change_css%3Dbrown&prev=search Santería, Vocaburaio Lucumí, Dictionary [Translated from Spanish to English, given as it was found on that page] *
"Bata
(Ortiz). "According to the Yoruba dictionary of Oxford, batá is a drum used by the faithful of Changó and Egungun." "They are three drums of a religious character, used in the ceremonies of the cults practiced by the Lucumí or Yorubas and their Creole descendants. The orchestra lucumí or is the one of the batá or the one of the agbe or chekeré. Drum! Skin! Leather! Sandal. The three drums of the Yoruba liturgy are properly called the "aña" or "añá" and the profane name of ilú ".

Waiting for a better opinion, we assume that the word aña or añá is creole or dialectal corruption of the Yoruba voices "dza" or "dya", means "to war" and also "to rage a storm". The prefix "a" forms nouns with a verbal root; For that reason, it is the supernatural power of the Bata, and it is the supernatural power of the Batá, That defends them, thunders and fights against their enemies ". "Aña is a mysterious object with sacromagic power that is introduced into the closed resonant boxes of the batá drums, when they are built and consecrated." "The knowledge of this cryptic name has in itself a certain sacromagic power that the" olori "or musician employs to dominate his instrument." The "secret" or buzzing of the batá is precisely what is called. Ilú áña or batá is the drum when he is "sworn". Aña is the "guard," "spell," "fetish," or magic that enshrines them. It is the "secret" of the god Aña. "To make a batá game that is" grounded "or" Aña ", it is necessary to consecrate a priest who has" Aña "and can transmit it ... Its creation is in the exclusive faculties of the" olosaín "Or priests of Osaín, the god of the trees and plants or of its magical and medicinal forces".

"Aña iggilú nitín chouó", they pray to him to give food to the olú by the ring of the edge of his chacha. Which seems to be Creole corruption of Aña igguí ilú gui tichouón or translated "Aña, from the tree tambor made the speech was precious." Synonymy: batá. Battá, ilú batá. Ilú áña, bata áña, Onibatá, onilú.

The smallest drum is called Kónkolo, Okónkolo, and generally also Omelé. The median drum, or second by its size, is known by Itótele or Omeló Enkó. The word Itótele may come from the Yoruba voices: "i", a prefix to denote nouns of action "," totó " "Kónkolo" (the real name) or Okonkolo as it is usually said, seems to have been derived from the word Yoruba: Kónkoto "god" Or toy of the children ", alluding to the fact that the Kónkolo is the smallest of the sacred batá, the baby, or boy, as well as iyá is the major or the mother.

Kónkolo more probably had to be formed by" kon " Singing with repetition of the root in a repetitive sense, and what, like lu, means "to beat a drum or to sound a musical instrument". "Sometimes the drums falter, the weariness is noticed in their touch, then some of the listeners shout to them" Omleh, so that all of them may revive their energies. "In yoruba omé lé can mean" Boys, strong! The omelé voice could come from another "child" and "strong", "over others". The Kon kolo u omelé is in fact the smallest of the batá, that is to say the "boy" and also the one that gives in his small leather the highest note of the batá. ""

The membranes of the batá are of skin Of goat or deer. "Each drum has two mouths (enú) covered with leather (auó)." Specifically, the big auó is called enú, which in Yoruba means "boca" ...; And the small auó is called chacha. Voice onomatopéyica that in the native vernacular translates freely by "butt". Chachá is not synonymous with leather or membrane of ilú. "In the batá orchestra, the iyá occupies the center, the omelé is invariably placed on the right side of the iyá and itótele on its left side, even though the Kpuátaki is left-handed and plays the chacha with the right."

The batá are never played after sunset. It is said by a Lucumí song: "Orú dié aña ko ofé soró" (Night, little year, does not want to speak) ... "These ornaments of shawls and handkerchiefs in the batá are denominated alá". "In addition to the common alá, the batá aña are exceptionally dressed in a special liturgical garment, which in Cuba is called banté and in the land of Yoruba ibanté Ibanté means" apron. "(The ibanté salalá was used by kings or priests "By the manipulation of the oracle this designates the name to be taken by the trio of batá, according to the" road "or the Odun that comes out when the pieces of divination fall at random. Here are some of the sacred names that have the batá of some famous tamboreros of Havana and its region: Aña Iguilú (something like "drums of hauled wood") .

Añabi (son of Aña) is name of the batá. .. (de) Aguía batá. Other batá titles are Akoba Aña ("the first son of the drum") and Aiguobí (son of the music or the bulla). Recently, a trio of batá was baptized with the name encomaystic of Alayé, that in Yoruba means "Master of the World". There are batá Jews and they also have name. One of these is called Iraguó Méta ("Three stars"). Another, quite imperfect, Lulú Yonkóri ("Touch and song"). Ko bo ko gua ("not for worship, do not come"). Another very insulting, says Oró tin Ochú Kuá bi oré. Which seems to mean "Deception! They made you into a new moon, born of a gift or mercy." And another was given a more repugnant title ... Olomí Yobó, "Flow or menstruum of the vulva". The drums being "jurados" with sacerdotal hierarchy, acquire a name like the olochas and the babalaos. Okilákpa, Strong Arm. Omó Ológun, Son of the Master of Magic. E Goal Lókan, Three in one. Obanilú, King of the drum. Eruáña, Slave of Aña. Otobike, Omó gugú, Yóboyobo, etc.

The orú of the batá is a kind of musical hymnal that is called in honor of the orichas; Previously in the "room", tabernacle or igbódu; First without songs and only with drumming, and then with the accompaniment of the liturgical chant and the dances in the ille aránla. Special touches are many and each has its name. Aluyá, the one dedicated to Changó and Oyá, very alive and that dances "removing the foot". Báyuba, also of Changó and Oyá, slow, complicated and "very moved of waist". Kankán, from Changó with many foot movements like "kicking a stone". Tuitui, also for Changó with ballroom dancing. Aláro, in salutation to Yemayá. Apkuápkuá, a kind of shoe for the same goddess. Chenché Kururu, in honor of the goddess Ochún. Ayálikú, rhythm and sad and funerary tones, inspiration of Oya, goddess of death. Aggueré, a clash, a percussive frenzy in the chacha, dedicated to Ochosi. And so many more, innumerable."
-snip-
*This entry is reformatted in this post to enhance its readability.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1: Bata drumming instructional DVD from Matanzas, Cuba



earthcds, Uploaded on May 21, 2007

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Example #2: Bata Drumming in Havana, Cuba, Rhythm Traders Roadtrip



Rhythm Traders, Uploaded on Jul 12, 2008

Miguel Bernal and his group demonstrate bata drumming and orisha chants at his home in Havana, Cuba

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Example #3: Oshun Dance and Bata drumming by Raices Profunda Havana Cuba 1985



Michael Pluznick, Published on Jul 30, 2012

Oshun Dance and Bata drumming by Raices Profunda from my first trip to Havana Cuba 1985
-snip-
From http://www.aawiccan.org/site/Oshun.html
"The Yoruba goddess Oshun is also known as Yeye. Her name is synonymous with transformation.

Oshun, also spelled, Osun, Oxun, Oshoun, Oxum, Ochun, is given hale because She rules the rivers that sustain life. Her realm also contains the aspects of love, flirtation, sensuality, beauty and the arts. Her priestesses dance to the rhythms of the streams, rivers, lakes and waterfalls in which She rules, and that carry Her voice with the sound of the waters."...
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"goddess"= The Nigerian (Yoruba) word "orisa" [orisha] and the Cuban Lukumi (Santaria) word "oricha".
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Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giYKJxrTAcU for the previously showcased video:. Among other scenes from a contemporary Cuban santeria bembe (religious gathering), that video shows the lead singer checking his cell phone in between songs.

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Example #4: ORO SECO - 'Lukumi', Dominic Kirk, Yosvani. La Habana, 2013



Dominic Kirk , Published on May 6, 2013

Tambores Bata tocando el 'Oro Seco' completo. La Habana, Cuba, 15/1/13

Iya/Mayor - Michael 'Lukumi' Herrera Duarte,
Itotele/Segundo - Dominic Kirk,
Okonkolo - Yosvani Diaz,
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"Tambores Bata tocando el 'Oro Seco' completo= (From Spanish to English): Bata drummers perform the complete "Oro Seco".
-snip-
"Oro" is a Spanish word meaning "gold". Google translates gives the English meaning of "oro seco" as "dry gold". However, the word "oro" may be a Spanish adapted form of the Yoruba word orú, meaning "night".

Notice that "oru" is given in the article excerpts that are quoted in this post. For instance, here's information about oru seco from the excerpt given above as Article Excerpt #1:
"There are two important "rhythm suites" that use the sacred batá drums. The first is called "Oru del Igbodu" (a liturgical set of rhythms), alternatively called "Oru Seco" (literally "Dry Oru", or a sequence of rhythms without vocals), which is usually played at the beginning of a "tambor de santo" that includes 23 standard rhythms for all the orishas."...

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Example #5: Chachalokuafun, Bata drums, Havana Cuba



Dan Callis, Published on Apr 5, 2015

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