Thursday, September 25, 2014

Five Videos Of The Bakisimba Dance (Uganda)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features five videos of the Baganda's Basikimba dance. Information about the Baganda people is included in this post. Information about the Bakisimba dance 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 keep alive the dance traditions of the the Baganda people. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

"The Baganda are found in the central region of Uganda and are the largest and most influential ethnic group in the country. The Kingdom of Buganda is the longest existing monarchy in the country. The kingdom is ruled by a king, known as a Kabaka. The kabaka has traditionally been the main patron of the music of Buganda. Musical instruments include various forms of drums, making percussion an integral part of the music.

The massive and sacred royal drums are just one of the many drum types. The ngalabi is another common drum. It is a long round shaped drum with a high pitched sound used in synchronization of both instruments and dances. The drums are used in unison with various other melodic musical instruments ranging from chordophones like the ennanga harp and the entongoli lyre, lamellophones, aerophones and idiophones and the locally made fiddle called kadingidi. The locally made xylophone, called amadinda, is one of the largest in sub saharan Africa.

The Baganda have a variety of vibrant dances that go along with the elaborate instrumentation. The bakisimba dance is the most common and most performed. There are others like nankasa and the amaggunju. The amaggunju is an exclusive dance developed in the palace for the Kabaka. The traditional music to-date is still held dear by many people within the region and is promoted and protected by the monarchy and tribal loyalists"

From by Edgar R. Batte, Posted Wednesday, July 24 2013
..."Godfrey Lubuulwa, band leader of Baxmba Waves which gets its inspiration and name from the royal Bakisimba dance explains that the Bakisimba dance emphasises waist movements and intricate footwork.

He says, “Dancers wear animal skins around their waists to exaggerate these movements, while ankle bells are attached to emphasise the foot work....

That is the power that comes with dancing Bakisimba-muwogola, one of Buganda’s oldest traditional dances, with a rich historical connotation. To explain this, one of the people I talk to is the multi-instrumentalist Albert Bisaso Ssempeke.

He notes that Bakisimba is not just a dance but more importantly a beat that was developed into drum beats during the reign of Sekabaka (former king) Ssuuna the second, of Buganda Kingdom.
“Kabaka Ssuuna II ruled during the 18th century and one time he went out to visit in one of his counties where his subjects were waiting to meet him. One of the surprises they had prepared was a drink, a mixture of sweet banana (embidde) and millet (omuwemba),” he recounts a history that was told to him by his father, a fallen royal musician to the Kabaka of Buganda, Mutesa II.

He was served the drink in calabash locally known as endeku as they were no fine glasses like is the case today. He liked the taste of the brew, so he drunk on and on and naturally, got drunk.
But as Herman Ssewanyana, leader of Percussion Discussion Africa explains, it was unheard of for one to say the Kabaka had got drunk. So when the Kabaka got drunk he said, abakisimba be baguwomya, translated to mean those who planted the sweet banana are the reason the brew tastes this good. So from his words came the rhythm accompanies to the Bakisimba dance and drums for as the Kabaka left, each of his steps was recounted by his words, abakisimba be baguwomya, and when you keenly listen to the drum arrangement, you will hear just that.

“As the subjects applauded the Kabaka, his entertainer, who he moved with wherever he went, took note and decided to play drums to this sequence. That is how Bakisimba came about,” Bisaso narrates...

Melodies are sung and played on top of this strong rhythm and later a dance. It is one of the most popular and recognised rhythms and dances in Uganda. It is a mid-tempo groove played on almost every celebrated activity,” Lubuulwa explains"...

These videos are presented in chronological order according to their publishing date on YouTube, with the oldest dated videos given first.

Example #1: Mesach Semakula - Njagala Nyimbire Omutanda |

Gnkagabi, Uploaded on Jun 4, 2008

Mesach took this song to the next level. If you have not seen the famous bakisimba (Buganda) traditional dance, this is not a video you want to miss. Thanks Mesach for preserving the Baganda culture. Catch all your favorite Ugandan artists in this song...

Example #2: Baakisimba dance part 1

Wade Patterson, Uploaded on Jul 9, 2011

Royal baakisimba dance from Buganda. Performed by Tebifaanana Abifuna Cultural Group, recorded outside of Kampala in late 1994 by Wade Patterson, Glendon Jones, Chris Zimmerman and Okello Kelo Sam.

Example #3: Baakisimba dance part 2

Wade PattersonUploaded on Jul 9, 2011

Royal baakisimba dance from Buganda. Performed by Tebifaanana Abifuna Cultural Group, recorded outside of Kampala in late 1994 by Wade Patterson, Glendon Jones, Chris Zimmerman and Okello Kelo Sam.

Example #4: Nankasa, Bakisimba, Muwogola by BITONE FOLKS

PrinceKayemba's channelUploaded on Aug 26, 2011

Nankasa, Bakisimba Muwogola a dance from Buganda designed and choreographed by Prince Kayemba

Example #5: Traditional dance of Buganda tribe, Uganda.MOD

RevivalCentreUg's channel Published on Mar 15, 2012

Students of Revival Grammar Secondary school perform some traditional dancing of the Buganda tribe, Uganda.

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