28 mar 2011

Dried fish on manioc leaf sauce

Dried fish on manioc leaf sauce, a recipe in Baynunk language of Senegal
Baynunk is an Atlantic language spoken in southern Senegal, northern Guinea-Bissau, and the neighboring  Republic of Gambia. It belongs to the Nyun-Buy group (according to Ethnologue) – along with Buy, language of the Cobiana ethnic group – of the Niger-Congo language family.

The origins of the Baynunk people are still rather uncertain. But the Baynunk themselves claim to be the most ancient peoples of Casamance: the ancestors are said to have come from the East, chased away by the Malinke and forced to end up settling in Casamance. The Malinke call them Abaynunko (“those who were chased away and seek shelter”). The term Abaynunko decomposes as follows: abay (“he who has been chased away”) and nunko (“he who seeks shelter”).

  • manioc leaves
  • palm nuts
  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • 3 cabbages
  • onion
  • aubergine
  • dried fish
  • salt
  • rice
How to cook it:
Recipe by Awa Sambou.
Watch the video to know about the recipe!
This is a recipe from Senegal, told by Awa Sambou in Baynunk language, spoken in the region of Casamance.
The fish is dried, the sauce is made from manioc, and the dish itself is served on thinly ground, local Niamone rice.
Awa Sambou is the one teasing our taste buds here. On beautiful footage by Muriel Lutz, she introduces the ingredients and utensils, and unveils her cooking secrets, in Baynunk language from Casamance.

© Text and image: www.sorosoro.org

26 mar 2011


Title: Daratt (Dry Season)
Director: Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Writer: Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Year: 2006
Running time: 96 minutes
Country: Chad
Plot summary:
Set in the wake of the long Chadian civil war, 16-year-old Atim (Ali Bacha Barkai) is sent by his grandfather to the city to kill Nassara (Youssouf Djaoro), the man who murdered his father before Atim's birth. Atim, carrying his father's gun, finds Nassara running a bakery. Unexpectedly, the taciturn Nassara takes Atim under his wing as the son he never had and begins teaching him how to run the bakery. The emotionally conflicted Atim is drawn into the life of Nassara and his pregnant wife (Aziza Hisseine), before a finale that Variety described as "sharp, fast and unexpected."

The film was one of seven films from non-Western cultures commissioned by Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival to commemorate the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Inspiration for the themes of revenge and reconciliation was taken from Mozart's La clemenza di Tito.

© Text: Wikipedia

24 mar 2011

The Seri of Sonora

Name: Seri (sometimes called Comcaac)
Living Area: Estado de Sonora, Mexico
Population: 716 (2006)
Language: Seri (518 speakers)
The Seris are an indigenous group of the Mexican state of Sonora. The majority reside on the Seri communal property (Spanish, ejido), in the towns of Punta Chueca (Seri Socaaix) and El Desemboque (Seri Haxöl Iihom) on the mainland coast of the Gulf of California. Tiburón Island (Tahejöc) and San Esteban Island (Cofteecöl and sometimes Hast) were part of their traditional territory, but some Seris also lived in various places on the mainland. They were historically seminomadic hunter-gatherers who maintained an intimate relationship with both the sea and the land. It is one of the ethnic groups of Mexico that has most strongly maintained its language and culture during the years after contact with Spanish and Mexican cultures.
The Seri people are not related culturally or linguistically to other groups that have lived in the area, such as the Opata, Yaqui, O'odham, or Cochimí. The Seri language is distinct from all others in the region and is considered a linguistic isolate.
The name Seri is an exonym of uncertain origin. (Claims that it is from Opata or from Yaqui were nineteenth-century speculations based on similarity to words in those languages and not with clear evidence.) Their name for themselves is Comcaac (phonemically /komkɑɑk/, phonetically [koŋ’kɑ:k]); singular: Cmiique (phonemically /kmiikɛ/), phonetically [‘kw̃ĩ:k:ɛ])
The Seri were formerly divided into six bands. They were:
Xiica hai iic coii ("those that are towards the wind"), who inhabited a large area to north of the other bands.
Xiica xnaai iicp coii ("those that are to the south"), who inhabited the coast from Bahía Kino to Guaymas.
Tahejöc comcaac ("Tiburón Island people"), who inhabited the coasts of Tiburón Island, and the coast of Mexico opposite it, north of the xiica xnaai iicp coii.
Heeno comcaac ("desert people"), who inhabited the central valley of Tiburón Island.
Xnaamotat ("those that came from the south"), who inhabited a small strip between the xiica hai iic coii and the Tahejöc comcaac.
Xiica Hast ano coii ("those that are in San Esteban Island"), who inhabited San Esteban Island and the southern coast of Tiburón Island.
Three of the bands were further subdivided. Relations between bands were not always friendly, and internal fights sometimes occurred.
After the Seri population was greatly reduced by conflicts with the Mexican government and the O'odham, and epidemics of smallpox and measles, the remaining Seris grouped together and the band divisions were lost.
The autoethnonym of the Seri people, Comcaac, was first recorded by United States Boundary Commissioner John Russell Bartlett, who was in the area for a short visit in early 1852. The word was included in the list of approximately 180 words that Bartlett archived in the Bureau of American Ethnology (now part of the National Anthropological Archive, housed at the Smithsonian). He recorded the word as "komkak", which reflected the pronunciation of the word at that time (although he missed the vowel length and did not indicate stress). Other word lists, obtained by other people during the last half of the nineteenth century, confirm that pronunciation. The phonetic rule by which the consonant /m/ is pronounced as a velar nasal in this context (after an unstressed vowel and preceding a velar consonant) obviously did not come about until sometime in the early twentieth century. The singular form, Cmiique, was first recorded by French explorer and philologist Alphonse Pinart in 1879. He recorded the word as "kmike", which also obviously reflected the pronunciation of the word at that time (although he also missed the vowel length). The phonetic rule by which the consonant /m/ is pronounced as a nasalized velar approximant in this context (after a velar stop) did not come about until sometime in the mid twentieth century.

Known by their:
a) New year’s celebrations
It is also a custom to celebrate the New Year Comcáac each new moon of July. The empirical calendar is confirmed by means of certain changes in the vegetation, the weather and by the appearance of certain constellations. The celebration also includes dances of Pascola, games for men and women.

b) Celebration of the Basket
the celebration of the great basket takes place when a Comcáac woman concludes the weave of a basket or “corita” of great size. The celebration is organized by her godmother and the games and dances of Pascola are executed by the people of the community. The celebration culminates with the weaver throwing gifts.

To know more about them:

© Text: Wikipedia, Image: Lilycaziim

20 mar 2011

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia

Renowned for its graceful hand gestures and stunning costumes, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, also known as Khmer Classical Dance, has been closely associated with the Khmer court for over one thousand years. Performances would traditionally accompany royal ceremonies and observances such as coronations, marriages, funerals or Khmer holidays. This art form, which narrowly escaped annihilation in the 1970s, is cherished by many Cambodians.
Infused with a sacred and symbolic role, the dance embodies the traditional values of refinement, respect and spirituality. Its repertory perpetuates the legends associated with the origins of the Khmer people. Consequently, Cambodians have long esteemed this tradition as the emblem of Khmer culture. Four distinct character types exist in the classical repertory: Neang the woman, Neayrong the man, Yeak the giant, and Sva the monkey. Each possesses distinctive colours, costumes, makeup and masks.The gestures and poses, mastered by the dancers only after years of intensive training, evoke the gamut of human emotions, from fear and rage to love and joy. An orchestra accompanies the dance, and a female chorus provides a running commentary on the plot, highlighting the emotions mimed by the dancers, who were considered the kings’ messengers to the gods and to the ancestors.
The Royal Ballet practically ceased to exist under the repressive rule of the Khmer Rouge, who eliminated almost all master dancers and musicians. Immediately after Pol Pot’s defeat in 1979, dance troupes re-emerged and performances of the ancient repertory resumed. The ballet has regained much of its former splendour but still faces numerous difficulties, such as a lack of funding and suitable performance spaces, competition from modern media and the risk of becoming a mere tourist attraction.
Inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed in 2003)

© Text and images: UNESCO

18 mar 2011

Threads of Africa

Exhibition: Threads from Africa
Dates: 3 February – 31 March 2011
Opening times: Mon – Sat 9h30-17h00
Place: Gold of Africa Barbier Mueller Museum, 96 Strand Street, Cape Town (South Africa)
Entrance fee: R30
About the exhibition:
We invite you to view our first collection of bowls and bangles woven by talented weavers from the Thukela (Tugela) Valley in fine 18-carat gold, silver, copper, brass and shakudo wire.
A man in Australia had a dream. He dreamt of a golden bowl. A little bowl, hand-woven. He owned a copper wire bowl woven in the Thukela Valley, KwaZulu-Natal, and his engineering background and interest in metals set him thinking about strands of gold. Who were the weavers? Where did they obtain their wire?
There are difficulties in weaving with 18-carat gold wire, and the first little bowl was an experiment. It began in 2002, when Julia Meintjes was assembling an art collection for a Sydney-based company, RFC Corporate Finance, which offers investment and corporate advice in the resources, energy and industrial sectors. The company has clients in the South African mining industry, and when the MD, Rob Adamson, saw a woven copper bowl by an artist from Mdukatshani in the Thukela (Tugela) Valley, he asked whether a similar bowl could be made in gold wire. The commission was given to Mzonzima Dladla, and because of technical, creative and logistical challenges, it was more than two years before that first little gold bowl was completed.
Other bowls would follow, some in 18-carat gold, some combining gold with various coppers, silver, brass and shakudo. In 2008 the University of Stellenbosch commissioned a special edition of six bowls, which were presented to a select group of their donors - and the project was formally named Threads of Africa.
Nobody knows when the first gold wire was hammered into strips on the South African veld. A thousand years ago? In 1933 the first evidence of handmade gold wire was unearthed in graves at Mapungubwe, a rocky hilltop near the Limpopo River.
Now a world Heritage Site, Mapungubwe would yield spectacular finds of gold artefacts, including gold beans, gold foil, and the famous gold rhino. Gold wire anklets and bangles, however, were the most important from a technological point of view. The wire appears to have been hammered out by hand and then smoothed off with sand or stone, before being wound into a helix.
Who were the goldsmiths, and where did they find the gold? The answers have been elusive. Mapungubwe was briefly occupied between 1220 AD and 1290 AD, a period that was part of the Late Iron Age, when African metalsmiths were already skilled at the art of extracting metal from rock. They had little interest in gold, however. It was too soft for utility, and it had no song. It was copper and iron they were after. They needed iron for weapons and hoes, and copper was used for decoration. Copper was the “red gold” of Africa, the prestige metal, offered to the gods, and buried in the graves of Africa.
Early metallurgists worked with fire and, a thousand years before Mapungubwe was settled, forgotten men had been testing their minds on how to set fire to draw molten iron from rock. You can pick up the slag of their furnaces today. It lies on the surface of our modern landscapes, the scattered debris of ancient fires that mark the radical changes of the Early Iron Age. It was an age of innovation and settlement. By 300 AD a new way of life had spread from the Limpopo south into Natal, and the well-wooded valleys of the Thukela River. Almost every village had a smelting site, and there were shallow pits where village potters used fire to bake earthenware pots incised with pretty decorations.
There are still potters at work in Thukela valley today, digging into ant heaps to scrape shallow pits which are used as simple kilns for firing. The pots are made to order, or sold along the road on pension days – a local trade based on the need to use clay pots for beer in any ritual involving the amadlozi, or family spirits. Some of these potters supply the clay bowls which are used as moulds by the weavers of the Threads of Africa project.
Although wirework has been described as a ‘quintessentially Central and South African craft’ practiced by different tribal people over hundreds of years, there is no evidence of gold wire baskets or bowls in Africa’s archeological record.

© Text and image: www.threadsofafrica.com

16 mar 2011

Phaa sin tubular skirt from Laos

Name: Phaa sin (tubular skirt) from Laos 
Origin: Tai Daeng People, Laos 
Museum: Dallas Museum of Art 
Material: cotton and silk 
Dimensions: overall: 31x27 ¼ in (78x69 cm)
Reference code:  1991.361
Age: early 20th century
This classic style of Laotian skirt is unusual for its use of both ikat-patterned cotton and ikat-patterned silk in the same textile, thereby featuring special dyeing properties of two fibers. The vertical bands with white designs on a dark blue ground are cotton, indicating cotton's ability to absorb indigo, a plant-derived dye. The red-ground bands are silk, vividly dyed with lac, a dye obtained from scale insects. Separating the ikat-patterned bands are areas of geometric motifs in low relief, shaped by supplementary, or extra, wefts inserted during the weaving process. The ikat designs of the skirt depict a stylized serpent, the nak, a river dragon or serpent-like mythical creature that had protective connotations. This creature reminds us of the aso, a mythical fusion of dragon and dog in the art of Borneo, which also signifies protection.

© Text and image: www.dallasmuseumofart.org

14 mar 2011

Ti Punch

If you happen to visit French Guiana, it won't be long before someone offers you a Ti Punch. Just remember that, if you accept, according to local custom the second drink is obligatory or you risk insulting your host. Rum is of course a specialty of the West Indies and this drink is one of the simplest and most popular ways to enjoy it.
Normally the ingredients are placed on the table along with a few glasses and spoons and everyone mixes their punch to their liking. If you can't find bottled simple syrup, make you own by boiling equal parts of sugar and water, until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool before using in your ti punch.


  • White rum
  • Simple sugar syrup
  • Lime wedges
  • Ice cubes (optional)
How to prepare it
Squeeze a lime wedge or two into a glass, then drop them in the glass and crush with a spoon.
Stir in the syrup and then the rum.
Add ice cubes if desired.

© Text and image: Mixoloseum

12 mar 2011

Sia, Le Rêve du Python

Title: Sia, Le Rêve du Python
Director: Dani Kouyaté
Writer: Dani Kouyaté and Moussa Diagana
Year: 2001
Running time: 96 minutes
Country: Burkina Faso
Plot summary:
Kaya Maghan, the despotic king of Wagadou, follows the instructions of his priest by ordering the religious sacrifice to the Python God of Sia Yatabene, the virgin daughter of a notable family. A gift of gold equivalent to Sia’s weight is given to her family as compensation for surrendering their daughter for the sacrifice. However, Sia runs away and finds shelter in the home of a mad prophet who has railed against the king. The king orders his top general to locate Sia, but the general is conflicted since Sia was engaged to marry his nephew, Mamadi, who is in battle on behalf of the kingdom. Mamadi returns and joins his uncle to do battle against the Python God.

The inspiration of Sia, le rêve du python is a seventh-century myth of the Wagadu people of Western Africa, which was adapted into the play La légende du Wagudu vue par Sia Yatabéré by Mauritanian writer Moussa Diagana. He also adapted the screenplay with filmmaker Dani Kouyaté.

© Text: Wikipedia

10 mar 2011

The Suyá of Brazil

Name: Suyá
Living Area: Brazil
Population: 196
The Suyá are a group of indigenous people living in Brazil, at the headwaters of the Xingu River. They have, historically, been best known for an unusual form of body modification which they practice. After marriage, Suyá men often have their lower lip pierced, and have a small wooden disk placed inside. The size of the disk is gradually increased as time goes on, permanently changing the size of the lip.
Like many other tribes in the upper Xingu, the Suyá were devastated by diseases introduced by European explorers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After the establishment of the Xingu National Park in the 1960s, and after the introduction of organised medical care into the area, the population of the Suyá grew greatly.
There are not many archaeological or ethnographic records extending back before 1884 because little cultural material can be preserved in the humid tropics, and most materials used were organic. However, the ethnographic evidence that does exist claims that the Suyá people made a long journey from a territory more than 1,100 kilometers to the northeast, fleeing and fighting enemies. They migrated to the Xingu region around 1840, where they met with a number of groups with whom they obtained women, children, and exchanged items. Although many of these tribes spoke different languages they shared a similar culture, and the region where they settled is often referred to today as the "Upper Xingu Culture Area." From the Xingu they adopted many aspects of their culture such as; canoes, hammocks, and ceremonies.
They also adapted food preparation techniques, such as believing that all food must be cooked before eaten. Body ornamentation was also an aspect of their culture that they took on. Body ornaments are significant markers of age and status.
The Suyá community has always believed greatly in the collective good. They share everything from fire, food, land, songs, performances, shelter, clothes, and children. A child is raised by the whole community not just by their biological parents, although they know who their biological parents are they do not identify with them as a westernized person would, with a sense of ownership. To a Suyá person the entire community is their family. Their names also have much more importance than people from the western world attribute to names as well. They believe that names are central to the definition of who a person is and the groups to which he or she belongs; therefore, they pick their names very carefully. Today the Suyá live in a single village of about two hundred inhabitants on the banks of the Suiá-Miçu River. They speak a language belonging the northern branch of the Gê language family. They hunt, fish, gather supplies, and trade with frontier settlements to get their basic needs. They are also protected from frontier violence and the national market economy by a reservation system that intermittently provides health care and material goods and involves them in a new multiethnic social system. Their myths claim that, although the Suyá society always existed, in the beginning the people had no fire, no names, no garden crops, no lip-disc ornaments, and few songs. They acquired fire from the jaguar, garden crops from the mouse, lip discs from enemy Indians, names from a cannibal people living under the ground, and songs from all of these.

Well-known by: their lip-disc ornaments
Tribes that are known for their traditional lip plates include:
The Mursi and Surma (Suri) women of Ethiopia
The Suyá men of Brazil (most no longer wear plates)
The Sara women of Chad (ceased wearing plates in the 1920s)
The Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique (ceased wearing plates several decades ago)
The Botocudo of coastal Brazil (in previous centuries, both sexes wore plates)
Aleut, Inuit and other indigenous peoples of northern Canada, Alaska and surrounding regions also wore large labrets and lip plates; these practices mostly had ceased by the twentieth century.
Some tribes (Zo'e in Brazil, Nuba in Sudan, Lobi in west Africa), wear stretched-lip ornaments that are plug- or rod-shaped rather than plate-shaped.

© Text and image: Wikipedia 

8 mar 2011

Paris rue Visconti Exposition

Name: Paris rue Visconti Exposition
Date and opening times: 25-28 March 2011, 11-19h
Place: Different art shops at rue Visconti, Paris (France)
Contact: contact@letoitdumonde.net
Webpage: www.letoitdumonde.net

© Text and image: www.tribalart.com

6 mar 2011

The Bistritsa Babi

The Bistritsa Babi – Archaic Polyphony, Dances and Rituals from the Shoplouk Region
The traditional dances and polyphonic singing found in the Shoplouk region of Bulgaria are still performed by a group of elderly women, the Bistritsa Babi. This tradition includes diaphony, or what is known as shoppe polyphony, ancient forms of the horo chain dance and the ritual practice of lazarouvane, an initiation ceremony for young women.
Diaphony is a specific type of polyphonic singing in which one or two voices build the melody consisting of izvikva meaning “to shout out” and bouchi krivo meaning “crooked rumbled roars”, while other singers hold a monotone drone that is doubled or trebled to produce a more sonorous sound that accompanies the lead singers.The dancers, dressed in traditional costumes, hold each other by the waist or belt and dance in a circle, stepping lightly and moving counter-clockwise. A number of variations are performed within this structure, depending on the song and ancient ritual purposes.
Although the social function of the polyphonic singing has changed over the twentieth century, as it is now primarily performed on stage, the Bistritsa Babi are regarded as an important component of the region’s cultural life, promoting traditional expressions among the younger generations. The women are among the few remaining representatives of traditional polyphony and the village of Bistritsa is one of the last areas in Bulgaria in which this cultural expression has been maintained over the centuries.
Due to its location near the capital Sofia, which offers a range of cultural attractions, young people’s interest in communitybased traditions is declining. Over the years, the rich repertoire of songs and dances has been reduced to include only the most popular highlights to be performed on stage.

© Text and images: UNESCO

4 mar 2011

Clothing and Culture in South Asia

Exhibition: Clothing and Culture in South Asia
February 10 to March 25, 2011
Place: Koehnline Museum of Art, Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Rd., Des Plaines IL (USA)
About the exhibition:
Clothing and culture are inextricably intertwined in South Asia. Dress reflects gender, ethnicity, religion, occupation, social status, and wealth in addition to individual taste. Because of the subcontinent’s size and the artistic richness of its cultures, what people wear is tremendously varied, visually engaging, and meaningful.
The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is especially strong in ethnographic material from South Asia. This exhibition showcases some of the HLATC’s best and most unusual examples of textile art for the body from India and Pakistan. While it is by no means a comprehensive survey—an impossible undertaking—it does attempt to convey something of the extraordinary masala (spice mixture) of South Asian clothing as an expression of the lives of the people who make it and wear it.
There has always been a fertile exchange of reciprocal influences between Hindu and Muslim dress in both technique and style. The most obvious example of this is that many Muslim women wear saris and many Hindu women wear salwar kameez (pants and tunic). Parallel cross-pollinations occur between mainstream South Asian dress and tribal apparel, as well as between urban chic and rural folkwear. Alongside these dynamic networks of exchange, however, there remain distinctive and vibrant traditions that preserve cultural identity relatively intact in more isolated parts of the subcontinent.
“Clothing and Culture in South Asia” celebrates this complexity and the artistry of those who created these body-coverings.

© Text and image: Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, Koehnline Museum of Art

2 mar 2011

Tulangan sirimanua from Indonesia

Name: Tulangan sirimanua, wall panel with figure of a slain shaman 
Origin: Taileleu Village (Indonesia
Museum: Dallas Museum of Art
Material: wood, paint, shell, inlay, cloth
Dimensions: height: 69 ¼ in (176 cm)
Reference code:  1999.3
Age: circa 1900
A successful headhunt was celebrated by festivities in the longhouse (uma) and by the carving of an image of the slain victim, which was set into the rear wall of the first interior room, facing the entrance. Visitors to the uma would see the memorial figure as proof of the courage and strength of its inhabitants. This wall panel is one of those memorial figures. The head of the figure is small, but the shell inlay that survives in his right eye suggests a piercing gaze. His splayed hands are enormous. Linear painting on his arms, legs, and torso represent tattoos, which make the body attractive for the soul. The barkcloth loincloth tied about his waist represents what was once the basic garment for men of the area. The washes of red across the neck and along the torso suggest that the figure may be otherworldly. His tattoos are those of people from the northern part of Siberut, where Taileleu people went headhunting. The feathery headdress identifies the figure as a kerei, or shaman. The kerei can see and hear souls, ancestors, and spirits; he can also communicate with them.

© Text and image: www.dallasmuseumofart.org
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