February 23, 2009

Donso 1: Yoro Sidibé

After some minor technical issues in December I have had to overcome some major computer challenges this past week. So there has been a break in my posts. Luckily everything seems to be in perfect working order now (touch wood), so you can expect the usual steady stream of posts to continue.....


This is the start of new series of posts featuring some of stars of the donso ngoni (litt.: hunter's guitar) music of Mali.

It is not completely unintentional that I am starting this series with a cassette by Yoro Sidibé. Because I would also like to draw your attention to the good work done by Jack Carneal and his Yaala Yaala label. I strongly sympathise with his mission "to release this music ( ... ) that you might hear if you were wandering yourself among the cassette stalls in Bougouni, Bamako, Kolondieba, Sikasso, Segou, Fez, Marrakesh, Cairo, Dakar."

A lot of mystery surrounds the hunters in West-Africa, and even more tradition. Like the blacksmiths (numu) the hunters often form (secret) societies, with their symbols and rituals. The ngonifo (ngoni player) plays an important part in confirming the status of the hunters and perpetuating the tradition. Often the donso is from a numu family (Koné, Fané, etc.) and therefore combines two strong traditions.

Yoro Sidibé is from a Fula or Peul family from the village of Bambala, in the Sikasso region south of Bamako and very near the Guinean border. He comes from a long line of hunters, and his great-grandfather is said to have stopped Samory Touré from entering into the village of Bambala. Yoro Sidibé was born in the 1940s, and has established himself as a teacher of the music and its traditions.

The cassette I am posting here is from a brilliant series released by Siriman Diallo. The cassette is undated but I suspect the recordings were made in the early 1990s. The quality of this cassette is astounding, as is the quality of the music.

SD 112

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the "chasseur" - my fave style of Malian music. Nice to have it introduced more largely. Hope everybody grooves as much as I do and groove it certainly does.

John B. said...

Wow, awesome - just awesome. Thanks for this.

icastico said...

Muchas Gracias...

icastico said...

Let me amplify that (not that I am hearing it)...DAMN! Great record! Wow!

icastico said...

Now that I am hearing it, that is...

Anonymous said...

Another one excellent record...
Please what about the second cassette of Ali Farka Toure?
I'm waiting for it from October 19th, 2008.....please if you have the time...
Best regards...
Kostas from Greece

NGONI said...

Good sample to enter the magical world of the Donso, who dominate the secrets of plants and animals of the forest, and are so respected for their power over the supernatural phenomena.

I prefer the live recordings in their nightly parties without the technical quality of this cassette, but with an overwhelming ambient.

But very,very pleased with the trip of almost an hour inside the circular rhythm that takes me in to Mande territory.