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African Traditional Music and Dances

There are at least 40 tribes in Kenya and some tribes are closely related that their customs and language differences are very small. Each tribe has a different style of traditional music and dances. The dances were used as a way of communication, there are wedding dances, child birth dances, funeral dances etc.

Most of these dances are not documented or recorded and some you have to be a member of the group. Others are like sects, you have to take an oath of secrecy to participate and nothing can be disclose to anyone who is not a member. Such dances would eventually cease to exist in the near future because of the secrecy, failure of them being passed on as a result of being directed towards the modern world where the values of traditions are rendered
obsolete. Eventually no one will know those traditions existed.

The first time I saw traditional dances performance was at a political meeting. Normally in Kenya before the speeches begin, there is a showcase of traditional dances of the people of that  area where the meeting is held. Those dances are very colourful, entertaining and I never get enough of watching them. Another way of seeing a traditional dance is by living in the countryside. Each event calls for a celebration, if there is a village meeting of any kind, there is music and dance first. But death calls for a major celebration, people mourn, cry and dance for days to celebrate the life of the dead. Schools also teach traditional dances and there is annual traditional dances music festival countrywide.

Being used to seeing traditional music performance in political meetings and government holidays, here in Belize I was looking forward to seeing the same from the local people especially the natives. I was disappointed as of now, I haven't seen any traditional music from the native Americans. Seeing them dressed up and performing dances like the way their forefathers deed. The native Americans seem to be enjoying more doing things the way they were done by their colonialists, they even abandoned their own native language and adopt Spanish. I'm not against change I just think that they should have integrated instead of abandoning.


  1. Lyn said...:

    I just returned from Kenya after my very first visit to that extraordinary country. The music, singing and dancing of the various tribes is what has stayed emblazoned on my heart. Thank you for your insights into Kenya and life.

  1. Dirishani said...:

    You're welcome. Thank you for visiting my country and I'm happy to know that you had an amazing time.

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