Category Archives: Video

Drums

Percussion forms the basis of music making in Burkina. Drums are used in daily life, to signal a journey or a return from the fields, to accompany mask dances and to codify secret languages solely understood by initiates. The war drum, sacred in royal households, symbolises power, raising the alarm at a time of attack and announcing significant events.

Bendré

Considered the king of drums among the mossi, the bendré is also found in royal households. It is made from an enormous round calabash, lopped off at the top and covered with a goatskin to make the drum head. It can perform the function of a griot, with a complex pattern of rhythms recounting in a tapestry of beats the complete history of mossi kings, from mythological Ouedraogo right up to the present day. Click here, to get an idea of its sound.

Bendré

Rabingo

The rabingo drum is similar to the Bendré, but made from clay, giving a lower, more booming sound.

Lunga

The lunga is a long, thin cylindrical drum, with a head at both ends. Normally slung over the shoulder and played with a beating stick, it is popular amongst the Gourounsi as an accompaniment to mask dances.

Lunga

Tam-tam

The tam-tam is a much smaller drum, popular with griots, which can be tucked tight under the arm and is beaten vigorously with a curved stick to accompany verbal antics.

Gangago

The largest drum is the gangago, a kind of cylindrical fat bass drum, covered at both ends.

Djembe

The djembe is a popular upright drum. Made from wood and covered with goatskin, it is usually played on the ground and carries a recognisable fairly high-pitched sound. Click here to get an idea of its sound.

Djembe

VIDEOS

The following are links to videos containing examples of some of these drums being played.

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Burkina Faso: Protecting the Environment by Profiting from Garbage

Burkina Faso’s first plastic recycling centre is paving the way for a new kind of development project. This centre was the brain child of Andrea Micconi who works with the Italian NGO, LVIA (Lay Volunteers International Association).  His project had two aims: first to help stop the degradation of Burkina’s environment and second is to alleviate poverty. Today this recycling centre is successfully meeting these goals –  while functioning as a money earner for the country’s poorest it is also at the same time tackling environmental pollution. Furthermore, the local industry is also benefiting – the recycled plastic granules cost half the price of importing new plastic from abroad.

Here is a link short video clip (in english or in french) and an article by the world bank, In the Can: Burkina Faso Profits From Garbage, with further information about this plastic recycling centre.

Videos of Life in Burkina Faso

Here are a couple of videos created by volunteers and expats living in Burkina Faso: