Nanga Dance From Uganda Essay

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Nanga is a dance from Uganda; it is performed by women and is highly refined and choreographed. The female dancers use whistles to signal changes. It includes singing and chanting and are personal changes. Nanga dances include singing and chanting and are personal- praise poems. Each poem is unique and often comical. The Nanga is performed spontaneously at times of great excitement, such as before warfare, prior to a hunt or at personal performances. The women who perform the Nanga write poems, which are recited while dancing. Sometimes the poems are quite personal and criticize their husbands or the political leaders through indirect names. Political satire is the most common. One Nanga criticizes a political leader for not taking necessary actions and for being cunning like a squirrel, which rummages through the fields but is always lifting his head to make sure he is not being watched. In that particular Nanga, the dancers mimic squirrel movements of digging and looking to see if others are watching them. Nafali is a male masquerade dance from Liberia. It is an entertainment dance that is the most common of the male masquerade requiring the greatest amount of agility. Nafali dance includes acrobatic maneuvers, dancing atop bamboo ladders, handing on ropes suspended high about the ground and dancing on rooftops. The mask is made of colorful cloth and the dancer wears two capes. One hangs from the neck to the lower chest area and the other serves as a skirt. Bawaa is a dance from Ghana; it is a harvest festival dance of joy. The Bawaa is performed as an expression of joy and thankfulness to the Almighty Father and to the lesser spirits for an abundant harvest. It may also be performed on recreational, social, and other religious occasions. After the main fall harvest, the dance is performed on a competitive basis for awards. Although this dance is mostly for ritual expression of joy, it also helps establish strong bonds of friendship and promotes unity among the...

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