Guinea has a rich culture of dance and drumming, which is why there are so many people who love to travel there and learn in such an authentic environment. One of my favorite aspects of this culture of dance are the dundunba’s. A dundunba is a celebration put on for various occasions, like a wedding for example. Two rhythms are played; dundunba and soko. Everyone gets in a big circle and as the drummers play, dancers come in one by one and dance to the rhythms. This is also how a lot of the dance artists make some of their money. As they dance and amaze the audience, people come up and give them money.
Just a year ago I was mourning that I have hardly any fabric from my travels in West Africa. African fabric is my absolute favorite. It is vibrant, colorful, unique and signature to Africa. This trip to Guinea, I didn’t waste any time getting to the market and getting my hands on this fabulous fabric. With my busy schedule of pretty much dancing nonstop for a whole month I didn’t have a lot of time in the markets, nor did I have a lot of mental energy and stamina in the hot sun, with vendors competing for my attention; however I feel happy about the fabrics that I have come home with, and pleased with the friends I made along the way.
This is Salimatou, the first friendly fabric seller in my market adventures. After haggling down the prices I told her (with some help from an english speaking Guinean friend), that I am a taylor and will be making stuff to sell with her fabric. She seemed pleased that we were two business woman from across the globe doing our thing. I asked if I could get a picture with her and told her that I wanted to show my customers the lovely lady that I bought the fabric from.
On the left here is Fatmata and on the right is Aicha. They were fun ladies and more than happy to get pictures with me. They were especially tickled when I asked them there names in SUSU, (Ikeelidi?)
This last lady is Halimatou. She had the most beautiful and unique fabric that I found, but didn’t have a very large variety of it. If she did I might not have gotten very far beyond her fabric stall.
I have been wowing my friends with all colorful fabric that I have come back with and can’t wait to fill my shop with fabulous creations.
On Saturday, my dance troop performed at Chico earthdance. This has been my third performance with these beautiful woman; and when I say beautiful I am not just talking external. If you are ever going to have a dance troop these are the ladies to dance with. They are all so loving and accepting and wonderfully full of life. I quickly got over feeling like the newbie. I’ve never been able to smile while dancing before (it’s weird because I am a smiler), and with these girls you can’t not smile, every time I look up someone is looking at me with a huge glowing contagious smile, and it keeps me smiling too.