Discuss culture and traditions
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By the kid
#4632
Whats the story with djembe folas hats. any traditional stories about this??
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By Dugafola
#4635
the malinke word for the djembefola hats is "Naado." not sure on the spelling but the pronunciation should be "Nah doh" with the emphasis on the first syllable. the word translates to "look here."

traditionally back in the day, the caps were made out of leather from either a cow or horse with the tuft of hair being from the nape of a horse. the horse hair symbolizes strength and power. my teacher said that djembefolas would keep gri gri on the inside of the caps usually sewn in to help protect the djembefola and their drum from bad spirits and bad energy. sometimes you'll see mirrors sewn into the sides of the caps. this is also a form of gri gri in that all negative energy reflects back to the person giving it. he said there's probably only a handful of djembefolas in the village that still keep the gri gri in their Naado.

nowadays, they are a part of the costumes for ballets and percussion groups all over the world.
By bubudi
#4651
Dugafola wrote:the malinke word for the djembefola hats is "Naado." not sure on the spelling but the pronunciation should be "Nah doh" with the emphasis on the first syllable. the word translates to "look here."
i have heard that wild animal hair (e.g. monkey) was also used, in fact ladji camara had a monkey hair naado. it's a malinke belief that wild animals contain a powerful force called nyama. the horsehair would also contain nyama, but it is a tamer one. arabian horses were imported to west africa around the time of the rise of the mande empire. they were responsible for much of the power the mande army had over rival forces, due to the speed of their movement. so the hair tuft represents power, strength and speed. but it was believed that the wearer would be imbued with that animal's nyama and you better be strong enough to handle it! it would make you a bit 'crazy', which is useful when performing. the mirrors deflect negative forces. the cowries were used as currency in before the colonial era and represent wealth. the leather gri-gri (talismans) located both inside and outside the naado were prepared by a numu (blacksmith) or karamoko (healer), containing secret substances to protect the wearer from negative forces and aiding memory and creativity (since they are located in the head area). in more modern times a marabout writes a prayer on leather, folds it and that replaces the secret substance in the gri-gri, or some karamokos combine prayers with secret substances.