dundunba: dance of the strong
July 19, 2009
I recently watched the Guinea Masters at Habesha Lounge (which is a terrible venue for such impressive talent). The highlight for me was Takosaba and Bolokonondo – and Simbo danced and danced and danced.
These rhythms are very important to the Mande people from West Africa. Traditionally Dundunbas were played for the rites of passage of young men who proved their strength and bravery by standing up to increasingly harder blows from whips. The rite is now, for the most part, a series of prescribed movements and dance to mind-bending off-time rhythm. Truly beautiful to watch and hear.