5 - 4 - 18
African Culture: African Dances
Cultural dances play a huge role in cultural expression with all cultures. These forms of dance are usually used to teach things, such as moral values and social etiquette. They actually play an even bigger role in African society than others. In African culture, majority of every African dance generally occupy the African continent. Usually these dances are filled with bursting energy, grace, and flowing rhythm. In african culture, dance is actually a way of expressing a belief. To them, dance is a way of marking life experiences, celebrations, encouraging growth in crops, honoring ancestors, kings, and queens, and many other ceremonial occasions. Dance can also just be a source of fun and enjoyment. Dance, just like every other aspect of African life, is in inspired spiritually. Each dance is specific to the different areas of Africa as well. There are so many different names for different dances, for each cultural group. One example of an african dance is the Adumu.
The Adumu is the dance of the Maasai people of East Africa. This dance initiates an adult boy into what they call a ¨Warrior Man¨. During this dance they gather in a circle while one or two boys jumps in the middle of the circle. This dance is usually performed during a ceremony for them coming of age as well as a warrior. This is called Eonoto. The goal is to keep a narrow posture while jumping as high as possible not touching their heels to the ground. The higher they go the higher the pitch of the music and chants get. At the end of the dance, they gain their warrior status and also get the option of choosing a bride. While this dance is for the boys and mean of the group, there are dances for women as well.
For the Malinke people in Guinea, this dance is called Moribayassa. This dance is for the women who has overcome a great deal of adversity. This dance is for women who need help with something very important -like becoming pregnant or healing from a sickness- they ask the spirit of Moriba Yassa for help. The woman vows that when the wish is granted, she will dance the Moribayassa. Dressing up in old ragged clothes, circling the village, dancing and singing along with the music. During this time the women of the village follow her around as she gets out of her clothes and buries them in a special spot. In African culture, segregation is typically enforced in dancing. They do this to reinforce gender roles in children, but they do have African dances where they allow the genders to join in together.
Eskista, also known as the snake dance of Ethiopia, is one of a few dances allowing both men and women to participate at once. It is a traditional Ethiopian dance focusing on upper body. You vigorously move your chest, shoulders, and shoulder blades back and forth to the music. Eskista isn't a dance strictly for one celebration. It's one of the ones people of the culture do just for your enjoyment. Now for celebrations they pull out one of the more complex dances.
This dance involves leaps, jumps and very intricate footwork. The dancers are almost always in bright colors and preform at only key events and celebration. This dance is called the Atilogwu. The Atilogwu, also known as the ´Acrobatic Dance´ of Nigeria
All these different dances all for many different occasions, all belong to different African groups and tribes, yet all belonging to one culture. The cultural expression of African dance has made its way all the way to America where we still incorporate African dance in modern life. For example; the Adumu and the Dolphin. The modern day Dolphin dance is almost exactly identical to the Adumu. You're still jumping as high as you can, and heels not touching the The only difference is you don't have to keep your posture and it isn't a competition and you don't get a bride. It's simply for fun and laughs. Another modern day dance that incorporate african dance is the Harlem Shake.
The Harlem Shake incorporates the same rigorous and fast motions of the chest and shoulders. This culture expression has spread and evolved over time. African diaspora has given us many different things, culture being one of them. Over the same time period we have evolved as well changing things along the way.
African Culture: African Dances
· Used to:
· Expresses cultural beliefs & celebrations
· Teach moral values & social etiquette
· Filled with energy & fast pace movement
· Plays a role all throughout Africa
· Source of enjoyment
· All across Africa
Adumu- to jump up and down in a dance.
· Performed during Eunoto
· Circle formed around 1 or 2 boys
· Gather in circle
· Jump as high as possible with perfect posture
· Once complete; Warrior Man chooses bride
Moribayassa- rhythm exclusively for the joyful dance of a women
· Malinke people of Guinea
· Important events for women
· Asks spirit of Moriba Yassa for help & vows to do the dance once her wish is received
· Dresses up in rags, messes up hair, and dances wild to the beat of drums
· Buries old rags in secret spot
· Other women accompany while running around town
Eskista- dancing shoulders
· ´Snake Dance´ of Ethiopia.
· Upper body
· Vigours movement of chest, back, and shoulders
· For pure enjoyment
Atilogwu- has magic
· Stems from an old tale/rumor
· Leaps, jumps, and great footwork
· For celebrations
· Known as ´Arabic Dance´