Saakumu Dance Troupe:
Repertoire of Music and Dances
Wedding music and dance of the Dagbamba women of Northern Ghana. This music is performed exclusively by women in honor of a new bride. Songs used in this celebration relate to topical, human, marriage, and other social issues.
Sebpker is the oldest version of Bewaa, a moonlight dance by the youth of the Dagara people in the Upper West region of Ghana. This is recreational dance and music is performed with expressive dance movements.
Kpanlogo is the most recent of all Ga recreational musical types, an offshoot of Gome, Oge, Kolomashie, and Konkoma. Referred to as "the dance of the youth," Kpanlogo started during the wake of Ghana’s Independence as a musical type for entertainment in Accra. Kpanlogo is presently performed at life-cycle events, festivals, and political rallies.
Fume Fume is a ritual and spiritual dance of the Ga people of southern Ghana. The costumes and body make up depicts the spiritual possession of the dancers on stage. This sac rate music and has evolve to become part of the social music and dance of today’s youth.
Firu is the new version of Bewaa and is mostly performed with gestures to communicate the message of the xylophone music to the audience. The music is meant to educate people about social control and other vices in the community. The dances are choreographed to show more meaning to the music.
Bamaya, meaning, "The river (valley) is wet", is the most popular social music and dance of the Dagbamba of Northern Ghana. It began as a religious musical performance, but now functions during, festivals, national day celebrations, and other social occasions. Dancing the Bamaya requires a lot of waist movement and twisting. The maiden name for this music and dance, Tubankpeli, is now the main dance movement. Originally, only men took part in the dance while the women would sing, shout praises, and encourage the dancers. Now, Bamaaya is for both genders.
These clay pot drums are the oldest traditional instruments of the Dagara people before the xylophone. The music is performed during harvest period only. The instruments are believed to possess powers that can spoil a good harvest if they are played while the new crops (especially millet) are still bearing seeds. Thus the sound of the Dalari music signifies the arrival of the harvest season.
Bine music is performed at funerals, but it is also part of the social music and dance of the Dagara people. One would need to have a good understanding of the music before they can do the dance. The dance style is performed differently by the men and women.
This is the religious worship music of the Dagara people. Although Western religions tried to replace the Bagr religion, this form of music has great influence of the Catholic Church music in the Upper West region. Bagr is still practicing religion in this part of Ghana and the vibrant music is reminiscent of the African traditional worship.
Yiila is the recreational music of the Sissala tribe of Northern Ghana. Yiila means song, and this joyful musicis meant to educate people about social control and other vices in the community just as Firu. Guola is the funeral music of this ethnic group, and the dance is performed only at final funeral rites of an elderly person.
Gahu emanated from the musical traditions associated with marriage and wedding rites of the Yorubaof Nigeria. This historic origin can be seen today in the rich Yoruba costume worn by dancers. The Southern Ewe of Ghana and Togo presently performs the dance on most social occasions.
Gota originated from the Kabre tribe of Benin, and was introduced to the Southeastern Ewe in the early nineteenth century through trade. Originally performed in Benin for their war god, Gota is now performed as a recreational music and dance by the Southern Ewe people.
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