Saturday, March 11, 2017

Two Videos Of The Senegalese Dance Group Ya Bakh

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases two videos of the Senegalese dance company. Information about this dance company is included in this post, along with general information about the Fula (Pular, Fulani) people.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Ya Bakh for their creative performing arts legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.


[translated from French to English by Google translate]

"Ya Bakh dance
Dance group, music, acrobatics, theater and traditional singing Pular

Animations, concerts and shows for all your festivals and festivals.
Traditional dance lessons pular."
"Traditional Pular dance lessons"*

[translated from French to English by Google translate]
"Ya Bakh is a group of dancers and musicians from Senegal.
The members of the group living from a great rapport with each other and with their traditions. Their performances illustrate how proud they are of their beautiful culture and their traditional values of brotherhood, love of life, self-esteem, respect and solidarity.

They want primarily to convey the love for their culture on their own people. They toured mainly in Senegal, but also in Mali and Mauritania. Now they want to show the rest of the world what they are good at. They bring dance, music and spectacle that makes you happy.
Immerse yourself in the African rhythms and dances."
* Here's information about the Fula (Pular; Fulani) ethnic group:
"The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulani or Hilani; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pël; Bambara: Fulaw), numbering between 20 and 25 million people in total,[7] are one of the largest and a widely dispersed Muslim ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa.[8] The Fula people are traditionally believed to have roots in the people from North Africa and the Middle East, who later intermingled with local West African ethnic groups. As an ethnic group they are bound together by the Fula language (Fulfulde), culture, history, their religious affiliation[9] and their efforts to spread Islam in Sahel region and the West Africa....

[other referents] Fulani, Fula, Fulɓe

Total population
c. 20–25 million[1][2]

Regions with significant populations
Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Chad, Mauritania Morocco"

Example #1: Groupe Yabakh Dance _ Mbaye - Ziggo _ 2016

ATTAK-VISION, Published on Apr 12, 2016

Réalisation: ATTAK-VISION
Here's a response to the questions that I asked on that video's discussion thread:
"Groupe Ya Bakh, 2016
"Thanks for your kind comments.
The group Ya Bakh is a Senegalese group. They dance, they play music, they do theatre and acrobatics.
Their music and choreography is traditional. It's inspired by their ethnic group the Fula People or Peul.
Ya Bakh is trying to preserve their traditional background and values. They want to spread it throughout the world.

You can contact them via email on

And you can check their site:
Feel welcome!"
I then wrote Groupe Ya Bakh back to thank that group spokesperson and to let them know that I planned to publish this post.

I also asked them what their group name means and whether "Mbaye - Ziggo" are names or other words, and if they are words what the words mean.

I also wondered whether the video represented a specific event, particularly the scene where the woman is shown walking on material. Was she a visitor who was being honored by that gesture?

I'll add any responses to my questions in this post when I receive it.

UPDATE: March 12, 2017
Here's a response that I received via YouTube on March 12, 2017
Groupe Ya Bakh

Waw, thanks for sharing our videos on your blog. You're really kind.
In fact, I didn't write from Senegal, but from Europe, Belgium. My husband is the leader of Ya Bakh. He lives in Senegal most of the time. He doesn't speak English. That's why he asked me to respond to you.
I agree, the internet is great!

Here are the answers to your questions.

Ya Bakh means 'You are fine'. The group chose that name because a lot of people think that artists are foolish. And they want to show the opposit.

Mbaye Ziggo is the title of the song. It means 'marriage'. The clip shows how a traditional marriage is celebrated. You see the arrival of the bride. When she arrives, she is received with great respect. Like a princess. That's why people make her walk on carpets and garments."

Here's my response to that comment: (March 12, 2017)
You're welcome and thank you very much for your responses. I'll add that information to my pancocojams post.

And hello Belgium!

I'm so very glad that I happened upon this video while searching for traditional videos of African dancing*.

I believe that there are lots of other people in the USA and elsewhere throughout the world who will appreciate this video and would love to have information about the video (such as my questions) summarized under that video.

Re: your comment that "Ya Bakh means 'You are fine'. The group chose that name because a lot of people think that artists are foolish. And they want to show the opposite." Is that a traditional viewpoint about musicians and dancers in Fula culture?

Please thank your husband and the other members of Ya Bakh for this celebrating and helping to retain their traditional culture and share their performances with the via YouTube (and hopefully some paid live performance events that will be booked as a result of these videos).

*While YouTube surfing, I happened upon videos of Mbaye dances in Chad (Central Africa) and was looking for more. That's how I found this Mbaye Ziggo video.

Here's a link to that video g tta Traditional Mbaye Dances (Chad, Africa)

Best wishes!
your African American sister

Here's the response about an hour after I posted that comment:
Groupe Ya Bakh
"Thank you so much for your kindness and your advice. I'll add more information to the video.
And thank you for showing me the Mbaye dances. I like them.

It is not a traditional viewpoint that artists are foolish. But the families are not too happy when someone chooses to try to make a living with music and dance. That's why they are considered foolish.
While I and the members of Ya Bakh think it's so very important that people remember and cherish their roots.

I will translate all your comments to my husband. I'm sure he will want me to thank you as well.
Glad to have an African American sister!

Best wishes to you too
your Belgian Senegalese sister"


Groupe Ya Bakh Published on Aug 5, 2016

Ya Bakh au Grand Théâtre National de Dakar, Senegal

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Groupe Yabakh Dance _ Mbaye - Ziggo _ 2016



  1. Thanks for sharing the videos of Ya Bakh.
    It's so enriching to know other cultures, or to discover your own cultural background.

    1. I appreciate your comment, Ing and absolutely agree with you.

      In addition, I find it aesthetically pleasing to watch and listen to the YouTube music & dance videos that I showcase on pancocojams- many of them like Senegal's Ya Bakh dance group that I just happen upon by "YouTube surfing" for traditional music from Africa or from the African Diaspora.