Thursday, September 24, 2015

Videos Of Ikoku, A Traditional Central African Dance

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases six videos of the traditional Ikoku dance of Southern Gabon and the Republic of the Congo (Congo/Brazzaville). Some information about this dance is included in this post along with brief notes about the Central African nations of Gabon and the Republic of the Congo and information about the Puna ethnic group.

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. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube, and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

The Ikoku dance is traditional to the Puna ethnic group. That ethnic group is found in the Central Africa nations of Gabon and the Republic of the Congo.

Several of the videos embedded below indicate that they feature "ikoku and dimbu". My guess is that "dimbu" is another type of dance. Unfortunately, to date, I haven't found any information online in English about "dimbu". If anyone reading this post could add information about that dance, it would be appreciated.

"Gabon, a country at the Equator in West-Central Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean in west is bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of the Congo."...

"The Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo), also known as Congo Republic,[5] West Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville, is a country located in Central Africa. It is bordered by five countries: Gabon to the west; Cameroon to the northwest; the Central African Republic to the northeast; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the east and south; and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda to the southwest."...

"The Punu, or Bapunu (Bapounou), are a Bantu group of Central Africa and one of the four major peoples of Gabon, inhabiting interior mountain and grassland areas in the southwest of the country, around the upper N'Gounié and Nyanga Rivers. Bapunu also live in the Divenie, Kibangou, and Mossendjo districts of the Republic of the Congo. They are linguistically related to the Eshira."...

Here's information that I found online about the Ikoku dance. Additions and corrections are very welcome.

From "The Pharmacopoeia And Gesture Dance Of Yesterday And Today" by Jean Ondeno Rebieno, Author - Composer - Performer, Traditional therapist, Libreville, Gabon
..."The courtesans dances

In central Africa in general and in Gabon in particular, women's choreography should reflect its femininity and grace and typically the posterior portion thereof is widely and often put to use to magnify fertility, whereas for the man, power, agility and virility prevail...

Almost all of Gabon's ethnic groups have at least a courtesan dance, dance whose choreography performed by a person in the center of the circle and, after walking exhibition will invite an opposite sex person simulating a sex act .

Following the example of Mabumi (Massango) Ekunda (Myene), Malamu (Lumbu) Elone (Fang) Ikoku (Punu) etc .... these dances called courtesans can also have a ritual character (twins ceremony) in coarse songs which are often associated with choreography explaining them. They can be or be part of an initiation ritual, a ritual part of a funeral dance.

The choreography can take on the appearance of a provocative dance for a dance warrior or joy or profane dance.

From "On Dancing and Fishing: Joy and the Celebration of Fertility Among the Punu of Congo-Brazzaville" by Carine Plancke
October 28, 2010
..."In this article dealing with ikoku dancing among the rural Punu of south-western Congo-Brazzaville, the emotional experience of the dance is brought to the fore, along with the emphasis placed on this aspect by the Punu themselves. Indeed, joy is the concept used to account for the emergence of a dance event and to appraise its quality.1....

1.The transcription of the Yipunu language is based on Mabik-ma-Kombil (2001). I have,however, substituted the transcription -ny for ñ."

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

Example #1: ikokou

La muse, Uploaded on Nov 11, 2007

clip d ikoku y dimbu
This video includes stilt dancing.

Example #2: Gabon - Dibaku - Ikoku

Seka Moke, Uploaded on Aug 15, 2008


Example #3: IKOKU stanley koumba

bangando77, Uploaded on Mar 9, 2009

pour ceux qui sont loin du pays et qui souhaitent retrouver maman
la nostalgie du bled
Google translate from French to English:
for those who are far from home and want to find mom
nostalgia of corn
A possible translation in Standard English - for those who are far from home and want to feel nostalgic about their home country

Example #4: Gabon Ikoku

bangando77 Uploaded on Mar 27, 2009

Danse Ikoku du sud du Gabon. Regalez vous dans la culture gabonaise.
Dedicace aux exilés
Google translate from French to English
Dance [from] Ikoku southern Gabon. Treat yourself [to] the Gabonese culture.

Dedicated to [Gabonese] exiles
This video includes stilt dancing.

Example #5: G45 (HEMYSON)

clark ogyama, Uploaded on Jan 29, 2010

Rythme Ikokou!!!!!!!!!!!

Example #6: IKOKU Y DIMBU

Dolce Gaboma, Published on Mar 24, 2013.
This video includes stilt dancing.

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