Maasai | Maasai | Maasai Culture | Maasai Tradition | Maasai Music | Maasai Dancing
Maasai Music And Dancing

Maasai music traditionally consists of rhythms provided by a chorus of vocalists singing harmonies while a song leader, or olaranyani, sings the melody.

 

The olaranyani is usually the singer who can best sing that song, although several individuals may lead a song. The olaranyani begins by singing a line or title (namba) of a song. The group will respond with one unanimous call in acknowledgment, and the olaranyani will sing a verse over the group's rhythmic throat singing. Each song has its specific namba structure based on call-and-response. Common rhythms are variations of 5/4, 6/4 and 3/4 time signatures. Lyrics follow a typical theme and are often repeated verbatim over time. Neck movements accompany singing. When breathing out the head is leaned forward. The head is tilted back for an inward breath. Overall the effect is one of polyphonic syncopation.


Women chant lullabies, humming songs, and songs praising their sons. Nambas, the call-and-response pattern, repetition of nonsense phrases, monophonic melodies repeated phrases following each verse being sung on a descending scale, and singers responding to their own verses are characteristic of singing by females.When many Maasai women gather together, they sing and dance among themselves.


One exception to the vocal nature of Maasai music is the use of the horn of the Greater Kudu to summon morans for the Eunoto ceremony.


Both singing and dancing sometimes occur around manyattas, and involve flirting. Young men will form a line and chant rhythmically, “Oooooh-yah”, with a growl and stacatto cough along with the thrust and withdrawal of their lower bodies. Girls stand in front of the men and make the same pelvis lunges while singing a high dying fall of “Oiiiyo..yo” in counterpoint to the men. Although bodies come in close proximity, they do not touch.

 

EMAIL: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to BOOK/ENQUIRE NOW.

or

CALL NOW Tel: +254 (020) 2537670  or +254 (0) 717 100 187

(c) www.maasai.co.ke
 

Hot Deals

e-Newsletter Signup

Name:
Email:

Login Form



.
University of Nairobi