Traditional African Dances

by miami workers centre

Dances play a tremendous role in the African culture. More than a sport or a leisure time activity, dance is a way of expressing oneself and for many African tribes specific dances take the shape of sacred rituals. Traditional African dances can be classified into different categories, but it’s also important to distinguish between dances specific to each tribe and the ritualic dances that most tribe have. In this post we’ll try to get a look at both and talk a little about each particular dance.

Sacred dances in Africa

by the glopbal orphan project

For the African people, dances express the joy of living, which is why they are so alert and their rhythm so captivating. But African dances can also be practiced as rites of passage, thus marking the important moments in a person’s life: birth, marriage, death, adulthood. Such sacred dances can be found almost everywhere across Africa, even though the chances that a usual traveler will attend such a ceremony are low. The reasons behind this are quite complex, but the bottom line is that, like in many parts of the world, modernization leaves little room for tradition.
Generally, what most tourists will witness is a so-called ‘welcome dance’. People of the tribe will show of their most acrobatic moves as a sign of respect but also in order to prove their virtues. If you happen to travel to a specific village in the day of a funeral or in the middle of a wedding ceremony, you might also witness a funeral dance or love dance, respectively.
Dances are also a way to celebrate a person’s first steps into adulthood, as well as the men’s initiation as warriors. Such war and initiation dances are quite popular among the Masaai, so visiting the Masaai Mara in Kenya will help you make an idea about this popular dance known as Adumu.

Popular dances in Africa

by hoyasmeg

There is quite a number of African dances which have managed to cross the borders of different tribes or nations and enjoy great popularity. For the classical drum dance, a good idea would be to travel to Ghana, where certain tribes perform a dance called Kpanlogo. South Africa is another great destination for those interested in traditional African dances. The Umteyo dance practiced by the Xhosa and the Indlamu dance practiced all over Zulu land are quite popular, so with enough ambition and patience you might even find yourself learning a few moves.

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