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Music of the Mende of Sierra Leone

Various Artists
Music of the Mende of Sierra Leone

The Mende people are one of the two largest ethnic groups in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa. The common singing form is solo with refrain, sung by both men and women. The main instruments providing rhythmic variation are kelei (slit-log drum), sangbei (single-skin drum), and segbure (rattle). Songs feature traditional themes of love, war, death, and religion. This collection derives from recordings in the Bo, Moyamba, Kenema, and Kaliahun Districts. Liner notes contain song descriptions, substantial cultural and historical information about the Mende, and illustrations.

Track Listing

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101
Mende Song Female soloists and an eleven-woman chorus 6:45
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102
Mende Work Song Men working in Waiama 3:09
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103
Mende Talking Drum Kelei (talking drum) players at Waiama 7:35
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104
Muslim Prayers Worshipers in Waiama 2:23
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105
Salia Koroma Salia Koroma 2:52
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201
Village Dancing Christmas Eve celebrators in Waiama 7:34
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202
Mende Muslim Song Muslim women singing in Waiama 3:16
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203
Mende Song Women singing 3:02
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204
Village Celebration Villagers near Mano celebrate Christmas Day 6:22
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205
Nefali Dance Mende people at the Kenema Agricultural Show 3:25
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