Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zoom On This - How I Came To Name My New Blog "Zumalala"

Edited by Azizi Powell

UPDATE: I changed my new blog's name to zumalayah for a couple of reasons (mostly because there was a wordpress blog with that other name. But zumalayah rhymes with the "jambalayah", the name of one of my cultural blogs. So it's all good. I've updated the blog link given in this post to reflect that new name.

Around about 10:00 last night [March 25, 2013] I got this great idea to start a new blog. Yes, I'm still going to publish posts on Pancocojams. But it occurred to me that what the world needed, or -at least what I needed- was a blog that was more focused on certain types of African and African Diaspora cultural music.

Although these words didn't come quite this clearly to me all at once, by about 11:30 PM, I had conceptualized that what I wanted to do was start a blog that "showcases videos of dances & singing games done in circles or in lines, and other movement performance arts from African American culture, from African cultures, and from other cultures of the African Diaspora."

Thank goodness starting a blog on Google is actually quite easy. The main difficulty that I had with this start-another-blog idea was what to call that blog.

I played around with another "coco-something" or "something-coco name" - in honor of my first cultural website Cocojams (with "coco" of course meaning "Black", well actually "Brown" people and "jams" meaning "music" or "songs".) But I couldn't get a handle on any coco names. Ditto for a form of the name that I gave to my other (and I admit very neglected) website "Jambalayah". Nothing SOUNDED right. I was stuck in lala land-and then it came to me - "La la". "La la'? "La la"!! Well, yeah...maybe that name would work but it definitely needed something else.

So since it was late, I decided to give my brain a rest and went to bed. And it's only because I "laid my burden down" (to quote an old church song, or a church old song), that the name I was seeking came to me - ZUMALALA (pronounced zoom-ah-LAH-lah).

I made up the word "zumalala" for the purpose of that blog. I consider it a noun which means "the spirit that people express when they joyfully move to the beat of percussive music". That said, I haven't used it in any sentence but the following:

Zumalala showcases videos of circle dances, line dances, and other movement performance arts from African American culture, from African cultures, and from other cultures of the African Diaspora.

However, if you want to use that word as a verb, for instance in a sentence like "Stop that zumalala-ing and do you homework!", that's fine by me :o)

Not only did I have a name for my new blog, I also had some songs whose titles included parts of that zumalala name or nearly so. And those songs decided to have a "Singalong-with-Azizi" time in my head.

Here are those songs:

Example #1: zum zum zum - capoeira song (legenda-caption in Brazilian portuguese)

Alessandro Braga, Uploaded on Mar 1, 2009

zum zum zum - capoeira song
Click "Zum Zum Zum Mata Um - Videos, Lyrics, & Meaning" for the words to this Brazilian capoeira song, and other videos of this song.

Example #2: DST Delta Zeta Chapter 2009

Uploaded by iseeFLICKS on Sep 30, 2009

The Ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Delta Zeta Chapter *& all that they do...
Click "Black Fraternity & Sorority Song - Zoom Zoom Zoom" for the lyrics to this example, and for other examples of this historically African American Greek lettered fraternity & sorority song.

Example #3: Oliver Morgan - Who Shot The LaLa

jvralston, Uploaded on Mar 16, 2010
Click for the lyrics to this New Orleans song whose musical genre I don't know.

And, although the words to this song are "la de da de dum" and not "la la" I still thought of this song when that blog name came to me...So, here's

Example #4: What's the name of that song

Loreal Harris, Uploaded on Dec 30, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything sesame street related. This is Bert and Ernie's version of What's the name of that song
Click the words to that song.

The more I said that zumalala name, the more I liked it. That name had the light but still could be kinda heavy name that I was looking for even if I didn't know it when I woke up that morning.

When you name something you can claim it. So I claimed that name by filling out the Google start a new blog form. And then I was on a roll. Long before that same time tonight, I had published my first five blog posts. Here are the subject titles and the inks to those posts (in chronological order with the "oldest" blog post listed first) "African American Church Processionals - Nurses & Usher Boards" "Brazilian Jongo Dance, Origin Of The Samba, Part I" "Brazilian Jongo Dance, Origin Of The Samba, Part II "Jamaican Children's Ring Game "24 Boxes" (Video, Play Instructions, & Lyrics)

and "Similarities Between A Zulu Dance & American Stomp & Shake Routines"

Thus far, is meeting my three main criteria for my blogs and websites:
1. I believe that I'm documenting and sharing examples and subjects that are worthy of that documentation and sharing and which often haven't received attention elsewhere.

2. I'm learning something in the process.

3. I'm enjoying the ride.

So, what are you waiting for?

Check out Zumalala.

Thanks in advance.

The musical content of this post is presented for entertainmenta and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all the composers-known and unknown, and thanks to all those responsible for that music. Thanks also to the publishers of those videos and sound files.

And thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Vieitor comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Azizi, I love your blog and your names. Zumalala works for me.
    "Who Shot the LaLa" has an Island overtone, Jamaican or Bahamian.
    "I Shot the Sheriff" for example.

    Check out Bess Hawes' book "Step It Down" written with Bessie Jones of songs and dances from the Georgia Sea Islands.

    Frank Hamilton