Fantan mankene - Chemou - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic Balafon

Fantan Mankene

Last updated on 25 November 2021


F Fantan Mankene is a Rhythm of the Chemou from the area of Orodara in Burkina Faso. Music for a sick woman. In this case the family appeals to the musicians to play for her. “The poor thing is ill; the whole world knows. Her mother is ill, as everyone knows. If you can get some beef (lamb / goat / fish), you have to give it to her! CD text by Landa from Haruna Dembele: “Here the griot tells a funny story about a” fantan “(= unhappy in Dioula). He says: “How can two unfortunate people lend credit ?. If that happens, who will be left with the debts? 

Melody 1, version 1: Fantan Mankene baj’ looke, Fantan Makankene beya ye
Melody 1, version 2: Fantan Mankene bee y’a lon, Fantan ba Man Kene
Melody 2 N’i ye misi sogo soro i ye n’son, N’i ye saga sogo soro i ye n’son
N’i ye ba sogo soro i ye n’son, N’i ye jege sogo soro i ye n’son

Possible arrangement: Fixed players for accompaniment and balafon 1 (A + melody). Balafon 2 alternates between A, B, C, Melody 1 and 2 (alternated with or without vocals) and solo. The performance of Dogo Fara: “Fantan Mangkané” (with C as the basis) is also a great starting point for your arrangement.

Fantan Mankene

This old tree in West Africa is not only a signpost. There are also all kinds of texts that refer to diseases. Possibly a wish tree that can be called upon, also for the healing of the sick. A custom that we also know in other parts of the world.

Dogo Fara on Album Walia

Balafon Meeting 2017

Presentation Workshop Gert Kilian

DVD Aly Keïta & Gert Kilian

Sources :

DVD Aly Keita & Gert Kilian, lessons from Gert Kilian, Haruna Dembele (also on his CD ‘Landa’) and Youssouf Keita, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, January 2016.

Update history
  • 25 November 2021: PDF layout adjusted and made more compact
  • 2 Februari 2021: Videolessons (in Dutch language). Text adjustments in lyrics (easier to sing!) and some other text.
  • 16 October 2019: Melody adjusted to one single melody-line, patterns build up in difficulty
  • 8 may 2019: New!
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