Fanga - Paul Nas
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Last updated 30 April 2004


Fanga is rhythm, from Liberia that has been thought by Babatunde Olatunji, a West African Percussion teacher who, with his lessons and personality, inspired many Djembé players in the United States. The transcriptions are from various email exchanges throught the Djembé-L mailing-list. Fanga was used by travelling tribes upon entering new villages. When a visiting tribe was approaching a village they would sing Fanga-Alafiya to indicate that they come in peace If the villagers welcome them, they reply: Ashe-Ashe. Then, the travellers and villagers reverse the lines. The fanga song was often the common denominator between tribes that otherwise spoke different languages. Music is a true universal language. The song he used to sing to accompanies the rhythm is in the Yoruba language. The song is a fun chant that captures the essence of peace, friendship conviviality and hospitality. In singing the fanga there needs to be a Caller and a Responder. The lyrics are simple but fun. (Ashe = so be it)

Fanga Alafayia, ashé ashé (4x) Ashé, Ashé, ashé, ashé.
Asé, Asé, Asé, Asé
Ikabo A Lafiya Ashé Ashé (4x) Ashé, Ashé, ashé, ashé.
Asé, Asé, Asé, Asé
Eluga A Lafiya Ashé, Ashé, ashé, ashé.
Asé, Asé, Asé, Asé

Various mail exchanges through the Djembe-L mailinglist. Artdrum for the cultural context.