Nantalomba - Paul Nas
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A song of provocation and insults of the baratingi, the oldest of the young people in th village, towards the baradögöno or the young ones. The youngest are compared to a spider with its legs pulled off, called Nantalomba, to get them to fight. The baratingi consider themselves as being the true owners of the bara (space for dancing) and the challenges between the different age-groups occur when the dances take place. The circles that correspond to each age-group are laid out concentrically around the tree planted in the middle of the bara. The leader carries a decorated hatchet called djende and a manin fösson, a riding crop braided from hippopotamus skin. When one of the younger boys wishes to join the group of older boys, he moves out of his own cicle and dances backwards. He meets the leader of the other group, who askes him”The Way?”, to which he answers “It’s marked on the back!” A reciprocal flagellation then follows, that leads either to the boy’s acceptance or rejection by the older group when the men who are present, appreciating the boy’s courage, put a stop to the test. Natalomba is a dance of the Dunumba-family: the dances of the strong men.

Nantalomba eee,
I badaban ikoudoula banankou too do woo,
Ido wolo kognouma eee

O you, Nantalomba,
Since you stuffed yourself with manioc paste,
dance now as you must!

Written material: Mamady Keïta, Åge Delbanco

Last updated 24 November 2002