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Monday, November 30, 2015

Dancing Holding White Handkerchiefs In The Ewe Cultures Of Ghana & Togo (Borborbor/Akpesse dances)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is Part II of a four part pancocojams series on Ghanaian, Togolese, and Nigerian customs of waving or twirling white handkerchiefs while dancing or while worshipping in church.

Part II showcases videos of the Borborbor (Akpesse) dances of the Ewe people of Ghana, West Africa and of Togo, West Africa. Women traditionally perform those dances holding white handkerchiefs in both hands.

This post also provides videos of church some people in Ghana waving white handkerchiefs during church services.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/11/information-about-dancing-and-waving.html for Part I of this series. Part I presents information about traditional customs of waving and/or dancing with white handkerchiefs in certain West African cultures and also presents theories about the purposes of those customs in those cultures.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/12/ghanaian-culture-waving-white.html for Part III of this series. Part III showcases the custom of waving white handkerchiefs in some Ghanaian churches.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/12/nigerian-culture-igbo-women-dancing.html for Part IV of this series. Part IV showcases videos of the custom of dancing with white handkerchief customs among the Igbo people of Nigeria, West Africa and among the Igbo people living outside of Nigeria.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in the videos that are embedded in this post. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of those videos on YouTube.

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I believe that the customs of waving white handkerchiefs in New Orleans, Louisiana or elsewhere in the United States while marching in second line wedding parades have their sources in the traditional customs of waving or dancing with white handkerchiefs in the Ewe cultures of Ghana, West Africa and Togo, West Africa, and the Igbo culture of Nigeria, West Africa.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/12/probable-ghanaian-sources-for-new.html for a pancocojams post about those customs that associated with New Orleans second line parades.

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INFORMATION ABOUT BORBORBOR (Ghana) / (AKPESSE (Togo)- TRADITIONAL DANCES WITH WHITE HANDKERCHIEFS AMONG EWE WOMEN IN GHANA AND IN TOGO
From http://www.bridgingdevelopment.org/culturepages/musicpages/borborbor.htm
"Borborbor is the most popular style of recreational music in the Volta Region [of Ghana]. It links traditional drumming rhythms with proverbial lyrics that frequently include Christian themes. It is the ultimate blend of old and new. Borborbor is often played at celebrations and funerals. Borborbor drummers weave moderate beats while women dancers and singers revolve around them. Women singers carry two white handkerchiefs that they twirl in the air at the end of a drumming period. A bugle may be used to add spice to the music. There is usually one song leader who will sing the first line of a song and lead the people from one song to the next by combining the meanings of different songs in unique ways to evoke the spirit of the particular occasion. Everyone in the community may participate in these performances which usually begin at dusk and can continue well into the night and even until dawn. Borborbor dance is very suggestive and many boy-girl liaisons develop during these events."
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Additional information about Borborbor dancing is included in Part I of this series.

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SHOWCASE EXAMPLES
These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

Example #1: AFRICANA BOBOBO AKPESSE DE TOTSIGAN A HEDJRANAWOE LOME TOGO POURQUOI PAS SUR FRANCE24 TOOFAN [Togo]



nestani365, Uploaded on Oct 17, 2009

Merci à ADOKOU MICHEL CHIC Responsable du groupe qui a permis l'enregistrement de cet extrait .Appréciez par vous même
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This video is also featured in a previous post that I published on Ghanaian Borborbo and Togolese Akpesse dances. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/04/borborbor-performances-togo-ghana.html for that post.

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Example #2: Akpesse Bobobo- Dunenyo Bobobo , à Agomé-Kpodzi Kloto part4 [Togo]



Mawuakpe
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The group dances holding one white handkerchief and one yellow handkerchief. Also, I notice that there's a male dancer in the group.

Here are two comments from that video's discussion thread:
MC PAPA LINC, 2011
"CLASSIC TUNE FROM VOLTA REGION GHANA."

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Cynthia Lilly, 2012
"This reminds me so much of our Bahamian Christmas and New Year festival Junkanoo. The drums vibrating through your entire body is so exillerating."

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Example #3: Awudome Cultural Group Performance, Volta Region, Ghana (part 1 of 2)



Michael Frishkopf, Published on May 29, 2012

Staged by the Awudome Senior High School cultural group at the launching of the 50th Anniversary of the school. Performances of three dances--(1) Borborbor, (2) Awusa, (3) Sauma--are led by master drummer and dancer Kofi Avi. This is the first part of a two video series; see part 2 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itRImR... . (Awudome Senior High School, PO Box 33, Tsito, Volta Region, Ghana)

Borborbor is a recreational dance of the Ewe people in Ghana's Volta Region, blending traditional percussion rhythms with Christian themes and harmonies in the singing. Borborbor is often played at celebrations and funerals.

Awusa is performed by the Hausa people of northern Ghana, most of whom are Muslims. It is used to entertain at durbars and other festive occasions. Awusa is a royal dance and is depicted by the performers' dress while dancing.

Solma is a social dance performed by the people of the Northern territories of Ghana, especially by the Mossi. It is a very old dance that is performed during festivals.

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Example #4: Borborbor GH



Johnson Hlordzi, Published on Dec 23, 2012

One of Ghana's popular music from the Volta Region. At a funeral at Osiabura

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Example #5: Groupe bobobo VENONOGNO de ND de la Trinité, Afannoukopé, Lomé Togo



Ab Raph, Published on Jan 3, 2014

dance traditionnelle pour louer le seigneur; outil d'Evangélisation au Togo.

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Example #6: DEDEDO BORBORBOR GROUP TADZEWU 1999 [Ghana]



A.R.S. LONDON, Published on Sep 21, 2014

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Example #7: Hot, Real Borborbor Dance Performed at Dzolo [Ghana]



Labone Express, Published on Nov 24, 2014

Enjoy this real Borborbor Dance! You'll see in this video how people of the Volta Region, Ghana normally perform their Borborbor Dance. This performance was recorded November 2014 at Dzolo Kpuita during funeral of Architect Jerry Kofi Loglo.

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