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The Dances
Teachers Program Guide
“Dances of West Africa”
African Heritage Dancers & Drummers
KOU-KOU (Dance of Initiation Celebration)
(Sou-Sou & Malinke Peoples, Guinea, West Africa)
Among the Sou-Sou and Malinke peoples of Guinea, West Africa, Harvest time is used to display the youths who have passed their ordeals and rituals to become young adults in the family and community.
Taken away from the village by the Elders and Priest, the young people are taught to be more responsible, in taking care to be more respectful, industrious and in learning manners and social graces.
They return to the village, If, they pass their ordeals and rituals and dance an energetic dance of celebration in honor of passing their Initiation.
EYE-SEE-SAY-YANGO (A Festival Celebration Dance)(I See You Dancing)
(Mandingo People, Senegal, West Africa)
When festivals are held in the village or at the end of the day when people want to have fun, they will gather and dance their feelings of Joy and Happiness, to the rhythm of the drums.  On occasions like this, everyone in the village participates.

Students and Teachers will be picked from the audience to participate.


(I See You Dancing)

Lead Singer: 

Eye-See-Say-Yango (I see you dancing)
Eye-See-Say-Yango (I see you dancing)
Audience Chorus:
Eye-Eye-Eye-See-Say-Yango ( I, I, I see you dancing)
Lead Singer: 
Eye-See-Say-Yango (I see you dancing)
Eye-See-Say-Yango, Eh!  ( I see you dancing, Yes!)
Audience Chorus: 
Eye-Eye-Eye-See-Say-Yango (I, I, I see you dancing)
Continue throughout the Dance with hand clapping in tempo with the rhythm.

LAMBA  - (Dance of Spirit Appreciation) (The word “Lamba” means “Spirit)
(Sou-Sou, Malinke and Mandingo peoples, Guinea and Senegal, West Africa)
(Also a Griot Dance)
When the chief of the village, or important elders or priest come before the people on important occasions such as at harvest or planting time or ceremonies celebrating births, marriages or death, the people dance the “Lamba,” in honor of God and their Ancestors.  Giving thanks for good fortune and asking for wisdom and knowledge to live a good life, they sing a song entitled, “Ko-sa-yom-bey” (What Shall My Life Be?).  The answer is (De-De-Oh/De-Oh) “What God Wills It To Be, It Will Be.”

MANDIANI – (Initiation Celebration Dance)
(Mandingo People, Senagal, West Africa)
Initiation rituals are very important in the life of African peoples.  It is that time when the transformation from “Childhood” to “Young Adulthood” takes place.  The Mandiani is also danced as a communal recreational dance, by youths to pass the time of afternoon fun.  Introduced to the African-American community more than twenty-five years ago, the Mandiani has become a celebratory standard when African dance is performed. The Mandiani song says, “The Time has Come, The Time has come For the Crossing Over of Someone.”

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