In Burkinabé society the function of musical instruments goes beyond the mere sounds they make. The instrument and its notes carry deep spiritual and cultural significance. Music forms a back drop to every important event in life: marriage, funerals, births, initiation ceremonies, prayers and many other celebrations. Combined with the oral input of griots (oral historians), music weaves a healthy dose of mythology and history. Instruments are typically handmade and tend to differ according to region, made from local materials and accordingly to local know-how.
This week I will begin a series of posts highlighting some of the more common Burkinabé instruments.