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By Kariamu Welsh-Asante
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Additional info for African dance
Males are entirely covered with raffia, made from tree bark, and they wear waist beads with a strip of cloth passed between the legs, headbands, leg bands called Bozani, and Bedu masks. ” The masks are carved from Onyina, a silk-cotton tree, and are painted in a variety of colors. Three drums control the rhythm of the Bedu dance: the Black drum is for males, the Tsulc drum is for females, and the Pinge drum is the supporting drum. RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL DANCES Religious and spiritual dances are designated as those that are specifically performed to pay homage to a deity.
There is usually a female singer who acts as the “crier” who alerted the authorities of the theft. This is one of the many examples of dances in which men dress like women in order to disguise themselves or mock women. SOCIAL AND CEREMONIAL DANCES Social and ceremonial dances are performed in both traditional and contemporary settings, such as a nightclub. The dances are performed to popular music, which often has political and ethnical themes. q 3/25/04 8:34 PM Page 55 West African Dances Kwame Nkrumah (in suit), who served as Ghana’s president from 1960 to 1966, his wife, and chieftains dance the Highlife, which is a West African social dance with political and ethical themes that is set to music.
African dance is able to absorb influences without losing its cultural identity and signature. The people are able to maintain the movements with their energy, form, and structure of the steps. What does affect the dance is the time element, which is greatly reduced as increased urbanization impinges on the duration of the dance, which traditionally can last for days. Another change is the presentation and participation in the dance. The dance is usually performed as a communal event with everyone participating.