Saturday, February 25, 2017

Five Videos Of Traditional Balanta (West African) Music & Dance (Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and the Gambia)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides showcases five videos of traditional Balanta (West African) music and dance. Information about the Balanta ethnic group 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 are featured in these videos and all those who are quoted in this post and thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
* I just happened upon these videos of traditional Balanta music and dance while "YouTube surfing" for African music/dance videos.

Additions and corrections to the information found in this post would be appreciated.

Click for a related pancocojams post on Senegalese (Balanta) vocalist/composer Omar Mané.

"The Balanta (same spelling in Guinea-Bissau Creole and Portuguese, balante in French transliteration), meaning literally “those who resist”, are an ethnic group found in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and the Gambia. They are the largest ethnic group of Guinea-Bissau, representing more than one-quarter of the population. Despite their numbers, they have remained outside the colonial and postcolonial state because of their social organization. The Balanta can be divided into four subgroups, three of which are Balanta Kentohe, Balanta Ganja, and Balanta Brassa, the largest of which are the Balanta Brassa.

Archaeologists believe that the people who became the Balanta migrated to present-day Guinea-Bissau in small groups between the tenth and fourteenth centuries C.E. Oral tradition amongst the Balanta has it that they migrated westward from the area that is now Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to escape drought and wars. During the nineteenth century, they spread throughout the area that is now Guinea-Bissau and southern Senegal in order to resist the expansion of the Kaabu kingdom. Today, the Balanta are mostly found in the southern and central regions of Guinea-Bissau...

The Balanta play a gourd lute instrument called a kusunde. On the kusunde instrument, the short string is at the bottom rather than at the top, the top string was of middle length and the middle string is the longest although it was capoed by the middle length string and its open sounding length is therefore the same as that string. The tones produced by the instrument are in all: top string open F#, top string stopped G#, middle string open C#, middle string stopped D#, bottom drone string A#/B. The Balanta kusunde is similar to the Jola akonting. The Balanta also play the Balafon which is composed of 24 layers instead of 12 or 14 found in the Mandingue community.[1][3]"...

Example #1: MikeBennett presents...Balanta Dance

omarmane Uploaded on May 3, 2008

This is the dance from the Balanta tribe...captured by Mike Bennett in Gambia, West Africa

Example #2: Balanta Dance

poppyplace Uploaded on Jun 16, 2010

Example #3: Casamance: La danse de l'éthnie BALANTE à THIAR

Amo Published on Nov 4, 2014

Un concert qui a eu lieu à THIAR, un village pas loin de Dattacounda, département de Goudomp. Avec le groupe Njama Naaba. à THIAR comme dans toute la casamance chaque personne parle au moins 3 langues différentes de sa langue maternelle. Dans ce concert les manjacks, les madingues, les peuls,les mankagnes dansent parfaitement la danse balante.C'est ça l' intégration, culturelle.
Google translate from French to English
A concert that took place in THIAR, a village not far from Dattacounda, department of Goudomp. With the group Njama Naaba. In THIAR as in all casamance each person speaks at least 3 different languages of his / her mother tongue. In this concert the manjacks, the madingues, the peuls, the mankagnes perfectly dance the balante dance. That is integration, cultural.
Casamance = Senegal

Example #4: Danse Balante

Alphousseyni Seydi Published on Mar 13, 2015


Created with MAGIX Video deluxe 2015

Example #5: Test KatMandou

Siga Massaly, Published on Nov 8, 2015

Le groupe Katmandou de Balantacounda fait de grandes choses avec le peu de moyen qu'il a. Il mérité d'être soutenu , n'est-ce pas ?
Translated from French to English:
The Kathmandu group of Balantacounda does great things with the little means it has. He deserves to be supported, is not it?
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