Demisin Kouma - Bambara - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Demisin Kouma

Last update on 20 June 2022

Dutch French

D Demisin Kouma is a rhythm with song from the Bambara from West Africa. The title means “The Words of a Child / Child Talk”. Children are allowed to say things that they they are not blamed for If adults say the same thing, they run the risk of skimping or misunderstanding. That is why – if one wants to say something that is sensitive – child talk can be used and a nasty blow can be dealt with. (because children always tell the truth). A child can freely say that the ‘Dolo’ (locally brewed beer) is the tastiest drink that exists.

The Hunt

Before the men of a village go hunting, the children do their own catapult hunting. They hunt birds or lizards. The loot is seriously prepared on a homemade fire, and eaten. “The meat of the lizard is tastier than chicken!” they say. Adults who contradict that are asked whether they have ever eaten it. That is usually not the case. So the kids say they know the truth and can know it because tasted both!

Demisin le ya fo, ba sa sogo kadi ni sjé sogo yé (2x)
The children say that the meat of the lizard is tastier than chicken
A-ouw ma nene, ou lou ya nene (2x) We ‘ve tasted it, you didn’t!

Nambara ka bois la, Tsjimi-tsjama kadi, ni boisson bè yé (2x)
Djapalo / Dolo the local brewed beer is the tastiest thing you can drink!
A-ouw ya nene, ou lou ma nene (2x) We ‘ve tasted it, you didn’t!

Tsjekoroba (ook wel makoroba) ya fo, sjè sogo kadi, ba sa sogo yé (2x)
The adults say that chicken tastes better than lizard
A-ouw ya nene, ou lou ma nene (2x) We ‘ve tasted it, you didn’t!

demisin kouma = children-words, sogo = meat of .., kadi = better than,
sjè = chicken, ba sa = lizard, = better, Tsjekoroba, makoroba = adults,
A-ouw = we, ou lou = you, ma = indeed, ya = not, nene = eten

Demisin Kouma

Hunting Trophy!


Youssouf Keïta, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, February 2018

update history
  • 20 June 2022: Added extra percussion option
  • 7 December  2020: Corrections and improvements to patterns D and E
  • 3 November 2020: Additions in Patterns D and E
  • 1 January 2020: New on website
  • Last PDF change 8 August 2019
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