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AFRICAN DRUMMING AND DANCING

Most African drumming and dancing origins from social or religious traditions. For an outsider it can take a while to get the meaning of the dance and movements, but with a little explanation you will soon learn that the African dances offers more than pure entertaining.

In most of Africa, history has been passed orally from generation to generation. This is one of the reasons that singing and dancing has been so important to communicate culture and background. Dances are used at nearly every social, cultural or religious event. Sometimes they tell the story of a people and other dances give moral "instructions" on how to live a good and harmonic life.

Michael Domfeh has studied and performed dances from most corners of the African continent (as presented in the United African Ballet of Denmark). He mixes his African dance schooling with inspiration from Western dances, hip-hop and Brak dance. Originally Michael Domfeh started out performing the many traditional dances from Ghana. Here are a few words about some of the most common dances, their meanings and origins

 

Kpanlongo dance  is an offshoot of older Ga musical types including Gome and Kolomashie.It emerged during Ghana`s independence struggles in the 1950`s among the Ga of Ghana, and is often associated with the youth

 

Kpatsa dance is used in puberty rites and rituals of the dangme of Ghan which was thought to have first been performed by Dwarfs .However, Kpatsa  is principal traditional entertainment music and dance among the Dangme and the Ga of southern Ghana in the West Africa

 

Bamaaya dance is originally a traditional religious music and dance of the Dagbamba of Nothern Ghana. Bamaaya , meaning the river (valley) is wet , is the most popular social music and dance of the Dagbamba people.

  

Kundum  is a music and dance of the Nzema and Ahanta people of Ghana. The dance takes its name from their local harvest  festival. It is performed as a part of the annual Kundum  festival and also on all social occasions in Ghana

 

Asafo Flag Dance

Asafo is the Akan military institution's title and name. The Asafo are in charge of defending the state. The word asafo derives linguistically from the words: war ("sa") and people ("fo"). In the Fante region, the Asafo tradition is highly developed. There, twenty-four traditional states exist with approximately two to fourteen Asafo military companies on hand.

The members of the military among the Fante are involved with community entertainment, including processions, singing, dancing and displaying flags. Asafo flags predominantly express the company's power through images of important historical and military events, symbolic animals and objects, or narrative imagery and visual proverbs.

In this example, the flag shows the glory of the company. White or pink figures usually represent the chief's enemies. Typical enemies are a rival militia company or foreign peoples. Here, the two pink heads could represent the a decapitation of an enemy during battle. The composition of this flag whereby the three pink figures are fleeing from the two black figures would signify a victory over the enemy.