Friday, October 25, 2013

Videos Of The Ekonkon Traditional Jola Dance (West Africa)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases four videos of the "Ekonkon" dance, a traditional dance of the Jola [Diola] people of Senegal, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. The spelling for Ekonkon is also given as "Ekon kon" and "Ekonkone".

Brief information about the Jola people is included in this post and three other videos of traditional Jola dances are showcased in the Addendum to this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"The Jola (Diola, in French transliteration) are an ethnic group found in Senegal (where they predominate in the region of Casamance), the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. There are great numbers on the Atlantic coast between the southern banks of the Gambia River, the Casamance region of Senegal and the northern part of Guinea-Bissau. The Jola are believed to have preceded the Mande and Fula peoples in the riverine coast of Senegambia and may have migrated into Casamance before the 13th century. The Jola and Serer people with whom they have an ancient relationship with[2] are believed to be some of the oldest historical inhabitants of the Senegambia Region.[3] The Jola language is distinct from the Dioula language of the Dioula (Dyoula) Mande people of the Gambia, Upper Niger and the Kong highlands of Burkina Faso."...
I've found very little information online about Ekonkon. Read the publisher's comment for the video given in this post as Video #1*
that Ekonkon is a dance that is performed by wrestlers.

Also, a commenter who posted on that video's viewer comment thread wrote that Ekonkon is a dance of bravery.

Please add information about the Ekonkon dance (or is it Ekonkon dances?) in the comment section to this post. Thanks!
Click for information about the "akonting", a Jola gourd instrument which is probably one of the sources for the African American banjo.

(These videos are posted in chronologial order with the oldest posted video given first.)

Example #1: Ekonkone, danse diola à Oussouye en Casamance

[embedding disabled by request]

webdesignfr, Uploaded on Feb 14, 2009

Danse rituelle diola appelée "ékonkone" des lutteurs du village devant le roi d'Oussouye en Casamance. 21 septembre 2007. La danse qui dure plusieurs heures est accompagnée par le son du Bombolong (tambour creusé dans un tronc d'arbre) placé au centre du cercle des danseurs et par les femmes qui, afin de protéger les lutteurs, projettent du riz et de la farine et frappent le sol avec des nervures de rônier. Copyright: LFV 2007 reproduction interdite. Me contacter pour toute utilisation.

From Google translate:
"Diola ritual dance called "ékonkone" wrestlers of the village before the king Oussouye in Casamance. September 21, 2007. Dance that lasts many hours is accompanied by the sound of Bombolong (drum carved from a tree trunk) in the center of the circle of dancers and women to protect the wrestlers, plan of rice and flour and hit the ground with ribs palmyra. Copyright: 2007 LFV reproduction prohibited. Contact me for any use."

Example #2: Traditional Jola Dance Video 1

Birmalgit, Uploaded on Jul 30, 2010

Traditional Jola Dance Casamance Juli 2010

Example #3: African traditional dance/AUTHENTIC(Senegal)

WitnessTheDevine, Uploaded on Jun 18, 2011

In this video ,its Jola people doing their ancestral ceremony of Ekonkong.The jola people are located in Southern Senegal , Casamance , and also in the Gambia , and part of Guinee Bisseau.But this is happening in Oussouye, Senegal.
Here , its Normal school and city young men doing their traditional dance , back in the village.The dressing , dance , rythms , everything is specially made for this occasion.The dance and event is called Ekonkon.The dance of brave men!This is an authentic ceremony , nothing fake!

Example #4: Ziguinchor.TV, Festival de Baila, 2èmr édition, Danse Ekonkon

Scoops Ziguinchor, Published on Apr 12, 2013

Example #1: Traditional Jola dancing. Video 1. July 2006 [children body patting]

Ulf Jägfors, Uploaded on Sep 29, 2006

This video shows traditional Jola body patting and dances by girls from Mlomp, Casamance region, Southern Senegal. It was recorded at The Akonting Center for Senegambian folkmusic, Mandinari, Gambia July 2006

Example #2: Jola at Lamin-Feb 2010 [Jola women dancing at a wedding]

platini64,·Uploaded on Apr 7, 2010

Jola music at a wedding in Gambia(Feb 2010). More at

Example #3: Jola Music Performance at The Roots Festival Gambia

HarmattanProductions, Uploaded on Sep 23, 2011

Music Tradition of Jola (Diola) people in Gambia. Filmed at The Roots Festival, Gambia

Click for an informative blog post about the Jola people. This post includes numerous photographs.

WARNING: One of the photographs on that blog post is of a female with no clothing on her top.

My thanks to the people who are shown in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube for helping to share information about these traditional dances.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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