Discuss culture and traditions
By bubudi
#3545
Dugafola wrote:fatoumata, don't drop the dishes!

bilakoro, it's time for you to eat at the fafa house

those are 2 off the top of my head...
cool. duga, can you quote the actual malinke phrases and what accompaniments they are for?

the first example sounds like it might be one to help remember an accompaniment. the second example sounds more like an example of a verbal message embedded in the music.
#3589
bubudi wrote:it's hard to tell what accompaniments you're talking about with the first 2 examples
radio interview on rootsy with Abdoulaye Diakate. Mr Chevier asks what was the meaning of the 'popular rhythym ss tts'. Abdoulaye said it means ''take it or leave it''. this is how i saw/heard it
Code: Select all
1...2...3...4...1...2...3...4...
s  s  tts   s  s  tts   s  s tts

Ok the Didi bun ka one,, the didi being the tones and the bun ka being the slaps
Code: Select all
1...2...3...4...1...2...3...4...
s t s   s t s   s t s   s t s 
s   s   tt  s   s   tt  s   s
that wokld be the second one, in 6/8 too,, not fully sure how to use the code
By bubudi
#3599
i can't make sense of your notation, keanie. the first accomp you wrote doesn't have any of the notes laid down consistently. with the second example i think you mean this:
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1..2..3..4..1..2..3..4..
s ts  s ts  s ts  s ts  
s s tts s tts s tts s tt
that vocalisation you gave would start with the tones, which fall in between the slaps in the first accomp.

the only accomp i remember abdoulaye talking about in his interviews was this one:
Code: Select all
1...2...3...4...1...2...3...4...
s  ss tts  ss tts  ss tts  ss tt
   ^
except the way he vocalises it, it starts where i marked above with a '^'.

i've never heard of a tribe in mali called 'didibunka'.
#3605
you remember now?? oh that one..lol
i met a malian guy at a festival and he said he was a didibunka. i difn§t ask him to spell it or anything.... ah well,
bubudi you ever discover any interesting messages or meanings in the music yourself??
By bubudi
#3607
if i remember correctly, abdoulaye said that the meaning of the phrase for that accompaniment was 'if you don't like me, don't give me anything'. the exact bamana phrase escapes me right now. would have to listen to the interview again.

i've discovered a few english phrases and used them to help people feel and remember different patterns, but i've never been shown any mandekan phrases. i guess i never asked.
By johnc
#3608
when I posted the initial quizz of this thread, I was more heading in the magic/mystic direction, in that in Anke Dje Anke Be, Abdoul Dombia mentions the healing properties of Koma but states that he does not want to say to much about it.

then when Tansole was likened to Koma in some repects i was looking for a connection due the speed in which the kids at school latched onto the first four solo phrases in tansole (as MK plays it). I thought perhaps the healing quality was there as well.

so if anyone has a grasp on some basic "esoteric" qualities to certain rhythms id be intested in even knowing just a little......again not wanting to delve "new ageish" into stuff but develop a deeper sense of the cultural depth.


I am a tibetan buddhist by trade and have studied jung at uni so the effect upon the mind/body of stuff always appeals.
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By the kid
#3620
i§ve been to west africa for 9 months to learn drumming. From my point of view its too short to go looking for mystic or magic messages in the music. its hard enough playing out there and trying to remember solos and breaks. As i got to know my teacher better he did tell me that in the future if i wanted to continue training that i§d need to go to some villages in guinea to attend a ceremony and have my hands blessed. He seen this as natural for any djembe player for protection i guess. he says that he doesn§t tell people about the mystic side of things until people can understand it. and i would add that my teacher and friends from guinea/conakry§Boke village, did imply that they didn§t understand everything and that a deeper mysticism belonged to the people living in the inland villages where a traditional way of life still exists. they showed respect and a little fear about the powers there.

John i wonder do you know much about the Tibetan oracales and the ceremonies they conduct to see into the future. i would be very interested in seeing acomparison between say a sorsonet mask ceremonie and the oracales ceremony in tibet./i read a couple of books on the dali lama and he explains the ceremonys in great detail.

there are probably loads of storys about the sorsonet but i see on the wap pages there is little information. i§ve a story-i§ve been told that traditionally the sorsonet is a devil like mask who comes to the village for a ceremony where he will predict the communities future harvest, wellbeing and fertility. the people show it big respect as they fear its answers. the drummers sometimes do battle with the mask and try to please him with sweet music and calm him down or tire him out before he gives his predictions. I hear that this is a very dangerous mask.

for future reference the Yoruba tribe in nigeria concentrate on healing rhythyms and have yoga, meditation practices. i§ve read a book claiming indian philosiphy and religions ceremonies may come from the Africa. it clamed that concepts like the Kundalini, mount meru, Cadakus/Snakes wrapped around the sword/ comes from african religions. personally i think africa done everything first. the book is called Opening to Spirit : Contacting the Healing Power of the Chakras and Honouring African Spirituality. it§s really a yoga book and is new age all right but recomends marajuana for opening the third eye. happy daze
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By e2c
#3624
Re. Sorsonet, there seem to be a lot of different stories out there about the meaning and use of the rhythm (and even of the mask itself). Since it's a Baga rhythm/mask (or at least, that's what most sources say), I wonder if anyone here has spoken to someone from the Baga about its meaning?

Am also wondering what Famoudou says about it. (Compared to the info. in Mamady's book.)

Also (back up to the 1st post on this page), what is a "fafa house"?
#3629
Nothing on the mystical side except that it has been explained to me that it is secret.

I did learn an insult for the djembe, though. Apparently one of the solo phrases for Wasalonka is also an insult along the lines of 'your mother wears combat boots'. Or the Malian equivalent, LOL.

My teacher showed me another insult, but I have forgotten how it's played. So he can insult me all day long and I wouldn't even know it!
By johnc
#3635
i will do some research on sorsonet and attempt to compare it to Himalayan things without heading off into a another cultures tangent.

I remember Mady Keita looking at some of my west african books at school at pointing out a chi wara statue and commenting that if someone is presented with such an icon then all their problems are dissolved. He did not elaborate further and I dare say there would be "conditions apply" like who made it and who was giving and getting.

Amongst the Tibetan diaspora, due to their current situation, many previous "on a need to know basis" information has been released to the broader public to ensure a degree of preservation of cultural depth.

cheers
By bubudi
#3639
there was an anthropologist who worked extensively with the baga tribes and i have some articles of his stashed away somewhere. i'll see if i can pull them out and shed some light on sorsornet.

the chiwara figure is very important in bamana culture. it represents a mystical half-man half-antelope that showed the bamana people how to farm. there's a chiwara secret society and at certain times of the year they will have rites where chiwara masks will come out and do a dance.

secret society stuff will stay secret among bamana people, except for a few things which are general knowledge among all bamana. i don't think it's fair game to study and then publicly broadcast information that they keep secret for cultural and spiritual reasons. generally i have found malinke and bamana people don't like to use words much to describe spiritual phenomenon. those who are given the chance simply experience it for themselves, end of story.
By johnc
#3640
johnc wrote:This I would like to know more about if it does not contravine traditional boundries of intiation and so forth.

Even general ideas would be appreciated

cheers

I quote myself to ensure those who are interested understand my intentions are limited to whats reasonable and sensative towards such things.

Mr bubudi, I do think the few people whom attend to this site are both cautious and protective of the cultures involved so Im not expecting more than is allowed by the culture itself.

However, the idea of "end of story" seems a bit dogmatic as my reading of Mamady Keita and conversations with Mady Keita lead me to believe that they are willing to share an open dialogue with those that appear genuine in their interest.

I am really looking foward to Mady's return from Mali!
#3641
johnc wrote:
johnc wrote:This I would like to know more about if it does not contravine traditional boundries of intiation and so forth.

Even general ideas would be appreciated

cheers

I quote myself to ensure those who are interested understand my intentions are limited to whats reasonable and sensative towards such things.

Mr bubudi, I do think the few people whom attend to this site are both cautious and protective of the cultures involved so Im not expecting more than is allowed by the culture itself.

However, the idea of "end of story" seems a bit dogmatic as my reading of Mamady Keita and conversations with Mady Keita lead me to believe that they are willing to share an open dialogue with those that appear genuine in their interest.

I am really looking foward to Mady's return from Mali!
i have asked one of my teachers about the Koma men's society in upper guinea. he kinda laughed at my sharp interest in everything about Malinke culture. he told me that he couldn't really tell me anything about it and that was it.

and i also agree with what you said about Masters in general who are willing to share their culture with those who are genuinely interested. topics and information going way beyond rhythms, parts and why their played etc... some Masters are a bit more reluctant than others.
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By e2c
#3642
I do think there's a break point on these issues - where respect for people compels us to steer clear of public discussion of certain topics. I'd guess that one of the primary reasons for that (for me, at least) is simply that our understanding of such things is partial, and we can easily misinterpret all kinds of details. (Even more true if such knowledge is published in a book, on the internet, etc.)

I feel pretty much the same about Native American cultures - maybe more so, because I come from the group of people who collectively displaced them and worked actively to undermine their cultures, beliefs, languages, everything about them. My thought is that people make public that which they wish to make public, but the rest is for them alone, or others who understand their beliefs.

I know of situations where this is true in South America as well - where certain people who have gained the trust of various Indians are allowed to hear music that isn't necessarily ceremonial. In these cases, there are things that specific groups of Indians wish to keep as far away from commercialization as possible, especially by strangers who just come in with recorders and then leave and issue CDs without anyone's consent.

Although every person has to decide for themselves, I do believe it's important to try and put ourselves in others' shoes - and to respect them.

[OK, end of sermon! ;)]

bubudi, thanks in advance re. info. on Sorsonet and the Baga.