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Music of the Vai of Liberia

Various Artists
Music of the Vai of Liberia

Primarily farmers, the Vai people are a minority ethnic group living in Liberia with a smaller population in southeastern Sierra Leone. They presently number about 240,000 people. In 1977–1978 and again in 1981, Dr. Lester P. Monts, assistant professor of ethnomusicology at the University of California Santa Barbara, conducted field studies and recordings of the Vai. The performances in this collection feature six different instruments: three idiophones, two membranophones, and one aerophone, which are part of modern-day Vai music. Songs are sung in Vai, Mende, and Arabic. The liner notes, written by Monts, provide information about the Vai, their music and musical instruments.

Track Listing

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101
Sande Ziawa Song Bendu Pussah and townsmen of Latia 1:59
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102
Topical Song Seku Bundah, troupe, and townsmen of Konjah 3:31
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103
Masked Dancer Song Molley Kiazulo 1:00
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104
Masked Dancer Song for Bowu Molley Kiazulo and townspeople of Senjenama 1:33
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105
Masked Dancer Song for Zoba Molley Kiazulo and townspeople of Senjenama 1:41
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106
Sangba Rhythms for Bowu Boikai Kamara and sangba player from Bomi 2:15
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107
Historical Song Townspeople of Bomfor 0:58
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108
Koningai Music and Story Armah Dasseng 4:49
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109
Topical Song Kuna Kiatamba and troupe from Robertsport 4:10
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201
Children's Game Song Zoe Siewana and townschildren of Tossoh 1:40
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202
Muslim Anthem Townspeople of Tienemai 1:00
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203
Muslim Anthem Townspeople of Tienemai 1:33
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204
Arabic Birthing Song Sattah Siewana and townsmen of Tossoh 1:48
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205
Kleng Rhythms for Yavi Armah Dasseng 2:15
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206
Storytelling Boa Kiahon and townsmen of Bendu Gawula 8:33
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207
Topical Song Seku Bundah, troupe, and townsmen of Konjah 5:12

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