December 22, 2008

Souraka djeli

Her paternal ancestor, named Nogo Tomo Dramé, was "Souraka Djeli" originating from Nioro. He came to settle in Fala, in Nogales near Kolongo where the chiefs where the Samaké. Nogo Tomo and his descendants put themselves at the service of these noble Samaké by becoming their griots. However, their "Diatigui" (hosts) are the blacksmiths Ballo to whom Hawa Dramé paid tribute in the famous song "Numu foli". Her father, Tiéna Dramé, was a mechanical workman at the Office of Niger and her mother, Doussou Koné, female griot singer of the line of the Diarra of Segou (descendant of Da Monzon). (
Hawa Dramé, who died in 1996, was known in Mali as a djeli without frills. A humble and sincere person who was above all a defender of the authentic Bambara rhythms and culture. The absence of jewelry and expensive clothes distinguished here from other griots and strengthened her ties with the rural communities where she was adored.
She spent only a few years in the Ensemble Instrumental National du Mali, but definitely made her mark in that time.

Here is a video featuring Hawa Dramé, accompanied by an small ensemble of some of Mali's top instrumentalists. It is one of the few live performance recorded outside, in the field. I copied the video in the late 1980s, but I assume the recording (by Malian television) was made a few years earlier.

PS: "Souraka" = "Moor" or "Maure"

1 comment:

Momo said...

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Malian are great!
Keep it up.