Guest Post: Janka Nabay

Janka Nabay says:
This first song, "Bo Sabi Dance" is a form of Bubu from the villages in Sierra Leone. It was recorded by a Peace Corps worker in the '80s in Songo, the Western area of Sierra Leone. The style of the song is called "Tegbe", which is a newer version of Bubu. Bubu is ancient, and faster. "Tegbe" means "easy" or "slow" in Temne, my language. So this is a slower, newer version of the original Bubu, but the instruments are the same. They don’t really have names; they’re flutes made from bamboo cane. Bubu boys travel in Freetown from Union Street to 34th Street; they play this music until they’re tired-- end to end, from the beginning of the town to the end.  

The Temne people own the Bubu and Tegbe music; they are the originators. In the past, Bubu was played at Ramadan. Nowadays, we Sierra Leoneans play Bubu and Tegbe on April 27th, which is Independence Day. This transfer from Ramadan to Independence Day happened after I brought Bubu to the twelve tribes of Sierra Leone. 

I was the first Sierra Leonean to record Bubu properly (during the war), but it’s still going on. New Bubu in Salone (Sierra Leone) sounds like "We Yone Culture" by Pa Follah. "We Yone Culture" is culture music!  I taught Pa Follah everything he knows about music. They call him Pa Follah because he "follows" (follah) me and my work in the Bubu.  Pa Follah is the prince of Bubu and I am the king.

MP3: Tegbe Players of Songo: "Bo Sabi Dance" (1987)

MP3: Pa Follah: "We Yon Culture"

Photo of Bubu boys in Freetown by Vanessa Wruble. "Bo Sabi Dance" field recording is available via Sounds of Salone

Tags: audio, guest post, guest artist, janka nabay, tegbe, pa follah

Posted by alteredzones on 09/24/2010 at noon.

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