Kassa - WAP-Pages - Paul Nas Percussion
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Last updated 27 July 2000


Kassa (Cassa) is a harvest-dance of the Malinke-people in East Guinea. The word means granary. During harvest-time the farmers go to the fields, that are sometimes far away from the village. A camp is made for as long as neaded. Some woman come to prepare the meals (and to sing). During the day the drummers play Kassa to support the workers in the field. When the harvest is completed there is a big party in the village, called Kassalodon.
Another custom (according Famoudou Konaté) that is connected with this work is that a girl (the prettiest in the village) hangs her shawl on a stick at the end of the field. The worker who reached this shawl the first (while working) spends the night with the girl. This meeting is not supposed to have a sexual character, for if the girl would get pregnant, the man would be beaten in public. Kassa is played all over West Africa and therefore known in many variations.

Illawuli woo konko daba, kondon tilu barama
Illawuli woo konko daba, Kolankoma sènekèlalu barama

Wake up farmer, the meal has arrived, wake up farmer, the meal is here

E yahé, e koutountama hé, e yahé, e mandinkono e (2x)
I ni war lé no kor solor, I ni war lé nama se néné mépélo

The men of Hamana, the birds of Mandin
My brother, I call you to work on the field
It is my profession; it’s the best work!

Lessons from: Martin Bernhard, Abdoullay ‘Oké’ Sene, Jaco Benders and Famoudou Konaté. Dancing lessons from Daniëlle van Son.
Written material: Mamady Keïta, Åge Delbanco, Serge Blanc, Stephan Rigert, Paul Janse, Rafaël Kronberger.