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Adenkum Audio and Video Selections

Audio Selection:

Three things to focus on while listening to the audio selection are: the time keepings role of the afirikyiwa, adenkum and abaa; the unrelenting, inflected, rapid-fire dondo part; and the call-response interaction of the voices.

Texts / Translations for the Songs Heard on the Audio Example:

[Obo Onomabu* bra begye nsa.]
Afe aso bra begye nsa.
Nana Kweku Wobir
[The stone should come for a drink.] (note: a formula used when pouring libations.)
Another year is here for us, come for a drink.
Nana Kweku Wobir. (note: possibly a powerful god in the area.)
*Obo Onomabu=Obonoma=rock bird=Anomabu (Anomabu is built on a rocky outcrop. The town was given its name because birds liked to alight on the rocky shoreline where it was built.)

[Awar bi ye musu/asan.]
Oadaadaa me akyere amanmba.
Medze moho rokosom awar a.

[Some marriages can produce calamities.]
Some marriages can be omen producing. note: the gist of this text is that a woman has tried to serve under the bondage of marriage, but has been made a fool of before the entire community.

[Aborofo woato nsa afre hen.]
Aborofo woetu kyew fre hen.
Yewosow yewoyow aborofo wotu kyew fre hen.

[The white men have invited us.]
The white men have doffed their hats for us.
We shake and shake (the adenkum rattles), we make good music for the white men.

Video Selection:

During the video clip you will be able to see the distinctive movement quality of the adenkum dance. The Fante are a head-bearing culture (they carry loads on their heads, not their shoulders or backs), and there is an impressive segment where one of the dancers balances a basin containing the group’s spare dondo on her head. Other segments of the video allow you to see how the two drummers coordinate their parts.

Performance Forces:

2 afirikyiwa metal castanet consisting of a wide ring worn on the thumb and a somewhat globular-shaped bell hanging from the second finger of the same hand; time-keeping instrument
several abaa a pair of bamboo concussion sticks; time-keeping instrument
5 adenkum gourd rattle with an external net of beads, shaken or stamped against an open palm; time-keeping instrument
2 dondo double-headed pressure drum with hourglass-shaped body, struck with a single hook-shaped stick, only one head is struck; a pair of these is used in an interlocking pattern to provide a rhythmic ostinato
cantors female, two trading off
chorus female, approximately fifteen

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