play all four clips
low | high

Kuria sound clips

All clips are OGG files streamed via M3U playlists; "low" quality are for slow internet connections, "high" for 56k modems and up. You may need to install an audio player or plug-in to be able to play the files - for more information, links and troubleshooting advice, see help.

There are more clips in each of the tribal sections, and a selection of tracks from over twenty tribes here.

Praise song - Wimbo wa kutukuzana
A praise song from northern Tanzania, aptly called "music to exalt/glorify/honour"
4:25 low
Praise song - Wimbo wa kumsifu rafiki
Another praise song, entitled "the song of the one of praises"
3:18 low
Epic - Mtu mwongo (The lying/deceitful man)
A superb piece telling the tale of a lying and deceitful man; a blend of story-telling, history (towards the middle of the piece the singer recites a litany of clan names and leaders), and morality play.
6:48 low
Kilimo ni muhimu (Agriculture is important)
A good example of the social role that music can play. Although roughly half the Kuria have been agricultural for a century and a half, many - especially in Tanzania, where this song was recorded, remain primarily pastoralist, and resistant to attempts to get them to devote more attention to agriculture. The song, whose lyrics talk of the advantages of agriculture, shows the dynamic role that music can play in changing, preserving and guiding a society.
10:34 low

All tracks are from Ngoma ya Wakurya (Iritungu), by Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam (RTD). Undated; probably late-1960s or early-1970s, during Tanzania's social experiment in Ujamaa ("togetherness", also called African Socialism or Villagization).


Traditional Music & Cultures of Kenya
Copyright Jens Finke, 2000-2003