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Introduction to Africa American Art - Essay Example

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In traditional African cultures, dances as well ritual performance have various meaning depending on the occasion. For instance, in most African cultures dance is a means of…
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Introduction to Africa American Art
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Download file to see previous pages The Mende people are among the largest ethnic community in Sierra Leone. They belong to a large group of people living throughout West Africa. The Main economic activity of the Mende people is farming and hunting. On the other hand, the Bamana people are based in Mali. The Bamana speakers are also known as the Bambara. The Bambara are members of the Mande culture; a large and a powerful group of people in Western Africa. Just like the Mende people, the main economic activity of the Bamana people is farming and hunting (Beneke, Mekler and Museum 45).
Ceremonial dances and rituals are essential features of the tradition of both the Mende people and the Bamana people. Depending on the nature of and the location of the dance, men, and women wear different consumes and masks. For instance, the Mende people have the Sowei mask that is worn by members of the Bundu secret society or the Sande community. Women wear this mask during public ceremonies such as weddings, thanksgiving ceremonies among others (Middleton 59).
The Bamana people use their ceremony and rituals in marking the passage of rites, during weddings as well as in burial ceremonies. During their dances, the performers or the dancers mask themselves using the “tyi wara” an antelope dance crest. The “tyi were” male dance crest is one of the most commonly used costumes in ceremonial activities such as weddings and other ritual activities (Kwekudee)
Currently , some Bamana adhere to Muslim as their main religion but a great part of them still practise their traditional rituals ;in particular honoring their ancestors . Conversely , the Mande share many facets of the wider Bamana culture including restricting their women from wearing a veil during ceremonies . Virtually, the Mande culture is recognized for its established soroties and fraternal orders (Kwekudee).
Ultimately, the Mande dancing culture is one of the most popular dances in Africa and outside Africa. Specific rhythms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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