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Côte d’Ivoire: Baule Vocal Music

Various Artists
Côte d’Ivoire: Baule Vocal Music

The liner notes relate the legend of Queen Aura Poku, who sacrificed her son to allow her people to cross a river to freedom. After her people were safely across the river, the queen could only repeat the word bauoli, meaning: the child is dead.

Queen Aura Poku and other legends are represented in Baule music, which is well known throughout Côte d’Ivoire. Two or more voices are usually joined by bells, rattles, and a variety of drums. They also use a fiddle and a harp-lute to accompany singers, creating layers of complex sounds. Although many children begin training in vocal polyphony at a young age, the finest musicians, especially singer-instrumentalists, are thought to have been chosen by the spirits. This album was recorded in 1965 and 1966.

Please enjoy a free download of the song “Dance of the Elephant Mask”

Dance of the Elephant MaskMP3 FLAC

This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music. More than 125 albums are being released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to make the series publicly available, including a dozen never-released albums of musical traditions from around the globe.

Track Listing

Kpanda dance Kpouébo village 3:33
Song to conclude the kpanda dance Kpouébo village 2:32
Dance of the Queens' masks Sakasso village 6:32
Dance of the elephant mask Lolobo village 3:41
Dance of the excised girls Agbakro village 2:58
Music of a guardian spirit Sakasso village 3:55
Little girls' sung games Kanoukro village 4:29
Song with forked harp accompaniment Béoumi town 3:14
Song accompanied on the musical bow Konsou village 3:28
War song Sakasso village 3:24
Song with harp-lute accompaniment Ouoko village 3:41
Song with sanza accompaniment Kondorobo village 3:09
Song of two little girls Kpouébo village 2:31