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.
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.
|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|