The values of a culture

I’m watching
So many things about it makes me recommend it to anyone seeking to understand the heart of African culture and its manifestations in the New World. You can not only hear the rhythms, you can watch the drummers play them so you can sort them out. Many of us started our journey totally confused as to what rhythms were being played, but here you can watch.
Then the two ladies sing and their words are printed on screen, both in Yoruba and in English. The lyrics indicate the values of the culture. The dancing you see embodies the movements so

valued in the African-American (in the broad sense) community, including the hip movements that have recently been denominated “twerking”, here clearly done respectfully and with no sense of lewdness. Sadly, many of our people in the West can only interpret these movements as lewd and lascivious and will not take the performance seriously, focusing only on it as a sort of pole dance in a strip club. That is why we must have organizations like the U.N who can nominate practices and sites as worthy of support since no American (in the narrow sense) could ever offer to support this.

Addendum – notice the increase in tempo toward the end. That is rare in African music where the tempo remains steady, but it appears often in bata drumming. The reason it is important to note is that Westerners (and others) tend to interpret the steady pulse (what some call the beat) of African and African-derived music as an increase in tempo, and when they attempt to replicate the music, they speed up the tempo b/c that’s how they experience the combination of a steady pulse with complex overlaid rhythms.

BTW, here is a fascinating video presentation of sexuality being directly expressed in an African society which represses it. Note the very different style of drumming and dancing compared with the Yoruba.

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