Taita - Music and Dance

Taita Music

Sorry, this section isn't yet done (and there's a lot to do!) But cheer up - this website already contains lots of information about Taita music, specifically in the form of three feature articles (you can also access them through the "feature articles" button on the left of the screen):

In Remembrance of Pepo and the Ancestors
If you haven't already done do, have a read through this: it'll give you the atmosphere and a lot of context. As I've said elsewhere, music is both a reflection and an integral part of any society and its traditions. If the traditions cease to exist, so the music that is associated with it will disappear. The tracks included on this website (follow the link from the index on your left) are among the few recordings of traditional Taita music in existence (there are certainly none available commercially). The original tape was kindly lent for copying by Harrison Mwachala of Wundanyi. As a result of his own interest, as well as patience with me while I wrote down his comments, the recordings are more fully annotated than usual. Most of the songs were recorded in June 1983 at the Taita-Taveta District Music Festival.

The Ngoma Healing Ritual of the Taita People
Ah, the magic of the internet... Soon after posting the article above, I received a query from Brandon Judge about pepo music. The resulting thesis is an extraordinary tour de force and a riveting read in its own right - in fact, very much a stimulus for me to return to Taita whenever I next get the chance!

Use of Drumming as Cure for Children with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Another very welcome paper, this one by David Otieno Akombo. Whilst not directly concerned with Taita music, there are plenty of references to it and to pepo, and the dynamics - both mental and physical - are univerally applicable. Great stuff.

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

also by Jens Finke
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