Sunday, April 30, 2017

Eight Video Examples Of Contemporary Mamaya Social Events Worldwide

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part series on "Mamaya" traditions in Malinke cultures.

This post presents a few excerpts from online articles about "Mamaya".

Part II also showcases eight videos of more contemporary Mamaya social events (in comparison to the description of Mamaya & the Mamaya videos that are found in Part I of this series and in comparison to the description of Mamaya that is given as Excerpt #1 below.)

Click for Part I of this post. Paert I also provides information about Malinke cultures, provides an excerpt from Ingrid Monson's book about "Mamaya" song, dance, and events.

Par I also showcases seven YouTube examples of "Mamaya" song and dance events, with particular focus on older forms of Mamaya social events.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the creators of Mamaya music, dance, and cultural events.

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

These excerpts are given in no particular order and are numbered for referencing purposes only.

Excerpt #1:
"The old Mandingo-dance Mamaya (Mamayah) was very populair in Guinea during the 1940 - 1960 period. Traditionally it was a very stately dance, that was performed in a club or a group where one was part of. Dressed in gouba's and embroded shirts, male and female dancers could express their beauty, while dancing in two circles (men in outer circle, women in inner circle). Dance-steps were made in a majestic way and a handkerchief or decorated stick was used as an attribute. The rhythm started with the singing of a Griot and/or music made with the Balafon, Bolon or Tama. Mamaya is traditionally without an echauffement. Mamady Keïta, Mamoudou 'Delmundo' Keïta and Famoudou Konaté have their own interpretations of Mamaya, but the melody compares.

Lessons from Martin Bernhard, Mamoudou 'Delmundo' Keïta
Written material: Famoudou Konaté, Mamady Keïta, Åge Delbanco, Paul Janse, Rafaël Kronberger

WAP-pages / Paul Nas / Last updated on 1-1-2015"

Excerpt #2:
From Moving With Mamaya By Mike Joyce, July 11, 1985
"Djimo Kouyate, who moved from his native Senegal to Washington four years ago, couldn't believe the audience reaction when his modern African music ensemble Mamaya performed at Dance Place recently.

"We intended to play for only 40 minutes but ended up playing for an hour and a half," he says. "Everybody, everybody began to dance. For them, it was a great disco. It was beautiful to see everyone moving to the music. I didn't know we were going to communicate that quickly with people who had never heard our music before."...

Steve Bloom, who along with his wife, Carla Perlo, founded D.C. Wheel Productions, which runs Dance Place, was even more impressed. "It was the finale of an evening of music I produced with my group, Steve Bloom and the Crux," he says. "People went wild. We had every intention of making it a dance event, but all of a sudden it became a giant breakdown. People were flying everywhere."...

For Kouyate, the nine-member ensemble Mamaya is the latest project in a life dedicated to the preservation and promotion of African culture. Kouyate is a griot -- "a traditional musician and historian to African society," as he puts it -- and a master of the ancient 21-string instrument known as the kora.

While the kora, congas and marimba (a modern substitute for the balaphon) link Mamaya's music to the African past, as do many of the group's songs, Kouyate is quick to point out that the addition of guitars and borrowed elements of jazz improvisation make it thoroughly modern as well, and surprisingly accessible to American ears....

"Mamaya is beautiful dance music," Kouyate says. "African jazz music. It's the modern high-life music of West Africa. In Africa when they play Mamaya, all the beautiful women come out to dance, and the griots, the musicians, spend all year making sure the event is something very special."...

Example #3:
[Press release about Toronto, Canada's Mamaya Festival and one of its featured performers Katenen "Cheka" Dioubata)
... "Mamaya Festival (Aug. 11) [2007]

Local Guinean griot, Katenen "Cheka" Dioubaté has been making quite an impression in the relatively short time she has been performing in Toronto. She performs with a backing band, "Snowgriots" made up of some excellent local African musicians, including Kobena Acqua-Harrison, Tamsir Seck and Kassoum Diamoutene.

She and the band opened for Toumani Diabaté last month at Harbourfront, (my photos of her set are posted here), and they have been making a number of performances around town. (I saw her perform two days in a row this week).

Next weekend, she brings the traditional Guinean "Mamaya" festival to Toronto. Sat. Aug. 11, 2-8pm at the Regent Park Community Centre, 203 Sackville St. Free. "Everyone and all ages welcome". Dress code: "Baby blue (or white)". For information, see her notes about Mamaya below. (Taken from her MySpace page)

Mamaya is an all-ages dance, a song and an event originating from the city of Kankan, the second largest in Guinée (W. Africa). It has spread to Mali Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire and now Canada. In Guinée, Mamaya is traditionally celebrated once a year at Ramadan, bringing everyone together to celebrate the beautiful nature of their culture, in happiness, peace and joy. Selected musicians will gather in a chosen outdoor area. The public participates altogether by becoming dancers, each one wearing a similar type of light blue coloured clothing called bakha (sky blue). In our Canadian version, some people may choose to wear sky blue dress or white. This shows that every person is the same, united and equal: women and men, rich and poor. It also looks beautiful and tells everyone that something great is going on!

With Mamaya there’s no racism or discrimination. We are one people, no matter where we are from and on this occasion, we unite different cultures and think in new ways. This Mamaya in Canada occurs during summer and is a non-denominational, family event. Mamaya will be free of charge. At one side will be a stage for the musicians with a central area for dancing. People may sit or stand at the sides surrounding the dance area. Instructors will show you how to dance Mamaya and doumdoumba. Those familiar with the event and the traditional role of a griot/musicians, will bring money to “spray” them in thanks and reciprocity for good mention and blessings."
Click for a 2008 video of in Guinea. The video summary includes this statement "West African Festival that originated in Kakan, Guinea West Africa. Cheka Katenen Dioubate has started these festivals in Toronto Canada, this is Mamaya 2008."

Example #4:
The Guinea Association is proud to present...,
"Mamaya in Seattle" it is a full afternoon of community, music dancing, celebration and cultural sharing to be held at the amphitheater in the center of beautiful Seward Park in South Seattle on September 17th, 2016.

Mamaya started many years ago in the city of Kankan, Guinea West Africa by the group of people of the same age called; Serere. In honor of the Serere group, Currently this dance is danced all over the world.

This is an An All African Community Celebration. We're inviting every African Association, Every Church, Student, Every Community Family, Every supporter of Arts and Culture and every Artist to come out and Join us!

You are invited to attend and we encourage you to bring friends and family.

The African Market Place will include; yummy food vendors, retail vendors, cultural displays and networking opportunities.
There will be large selections of African merchandise, such as African clothing for men, women and children. beautiful and unique Jelwrey, amazing African instruments and there will be ways to support local artist by purchasing their CD's , T-shirts and DVD's.

At 12noon DJ MOH and his crew will kick-off the event.
Live entertainment will be performed by:
* Message from Guinea
* The Djeliyah Band
* Dembaya with Manimou Camara
* Kouyate Arts
* and more Cultural presentations will honor the event sponsors and patrons who will be recognized for their outstanding support. These moments to honor will be done in a traditional way.

This event is Free!

Wear Your Light Blue!"


Pancocojams Editor's note & question:
Most of the videos that are showcased below highlight social events that appear to be sponsored by and primarily (if not entirely attended by) Guineans or other Malinke people living in West Africa, or in Europe, the United States, or Canada.

Notice that Mamaya dancing has changed from the description given in Part I of men dancing sedately in a outer circle and women sedately in an inner circle to just women dancing sedately in a single file, and then to more energetic women dancing. Also, notice the tradition of "spraying" paper money to show appreciation and support.

I'm curious. Do Malinke men still dance Mamaya either the "old school" way or any way at all?


Example #1: Sofoli - Mamaya (Bransang, Guinea, November 2011)

Traditional Malinke Music from Guinea (and some other things), Published on Jul 18, 2012

The rhythm Mamaya being played by members of Mansa Camio's group Sofoli in Bransan, a small village close to Baro. It's interesting to see how the Mamaya fete is now very often mixed with a disco. The DJ will arrive and set up the sound system and the drummers play first. Then they close off the area and people have to pay 500GF to entre (0.06 euro) to dance to the DJ's mix of reggae and African pop.

On djembe we have have Kebre Conde and Moriciré Camara
Karamo on sangban
Namory Keita on dundunba
Lanfia on kesedeni

Example #2: Grande Soirée MAMAYA 1 de Montréal 2011 - 1 video1 by dj.ikk

Kalil Koulibaly. Published on Aug 5, 2012

Grande Soirée MAMAYA 1 de Montréal 2011 - 1 video1 by dj.ikk

Example #3: MAMAYA COLORADO # 2 = 21

kerfala d, Published on Apr 14, 2013

Example #4: Mamaya bayo mali

kerfala d Published on May 28, 2013

Example #5: Amadou Sodia live @ SunRise - Dance Mamaya 2013 Rotterdam –

Exilic Productions Published on Jul 16, 2013

...Djigui Promotion Presente -"Amadou Sodia & Hadja Kouyate Live Concert" (Dance Mamaya 2013 Rotterdam) MAINTENANT DISPONIBLE SUR LE DVD.

Example #6: Doussougbe Kante - La Meilleure mamaya Africaines en Amerique

kerfala d, Published on Aug 6, 2013

Mamaya African Way to Party Wedding
[Google translate from French to English]

"La Meilleure mamaya Africaines en Amerique" = The Best African Mamas in America

Example #7: Mamaya-Maimouna Toure New HD

kerfala, Published on Dec 9, 2013

One Of the Best Mamaya To Watch..She Looked Beautiful
I'm not sure who or what this social event was in honor of or where it was held.

Example #8: mamaya teaser

bachir keita Published on Sep 18, 2016


This concludes Part II of this two part series on Mamaya.

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