A woman can sing and dance but cannot dance with high leaps: musical performance of the Haya of Bukoba, Tanzania

Mathayo Ndomondo

Abstract


In the area covering the present day Muleba and Bukoba Urban and Bukoba Rural Districts, as is the case in other areas where Buhaya culture is predominant in the Kageraregion in Tanzania, musical performances - singing, dancing, and playing of musical instruments - are integral parts of everyday life. As is the case in many African societies, among the Haya musical performances are inseparable from the daily events and the social, political and cultural life of the community. Traditionally, events such as marriage, funerals, worship, installation, praise, and exaltation of kings (omukama), celebratory war dances (omutoro) and heroic recitations or self-praise recitations (ebyebugo), healing practices such as cleansing and chasing away evil spirits, and all occasions calling for celebration produced performances. In the contemporary Haya world, some such events (for example, war dances and installation of traditional leaders) have ceased, but the musical performances have been re-contextualized for religious, social, health and political purposes.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21504/amj.v9i2.1802

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