Patouma Nje Nje - Bobo / Bwaba - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Patouma Nje Nje

New on the website on 11 March 2021


P Patouma was the name of an old (Bobo) woman who could still dance beautifully. To challenge her to dance again, people would shout “Patouma Nje Nje“. (Patouma as well as Batouma and Fatouma are names).
At Bwaba parties, this song is often played in a triptych with ‘Wa Ere’ and the ‘Gne Ni’ rhythm (with another song added). The accompaniment with different percussion is the same for all songs. Gne Ni focuses on misfortune, bad luck, poverty, all that is bad in the world, corruption, jealousy, etc. Wa Ere then calls for living and celebrating life, and Patouma Nje is a party song with dance and fun. Through the triptych, people are taken from the ‘unlucky position’, lifted up to make a party of it together. It is mainly danced by the adults, not so much the youth. As the triptych, however, a transformation must take place (in Patouma Nje‘s notation) to ▲ / O instead of ✱ / ▲. In the transition from one piece to another, the melody of the current piece is played together once more, and then together the melody of the following piece.

Patouma Nje Nje Nje, Patouma Nje Nje Nje,
Patouma a wa ba rou zama Patouma Nje Nje Nje ( the audience calls),

Patouma Nje Nje Nje, Patouma Nje Nje Nje,
Patouma a ba hana ba bara Patouma Nje Nje Nje ( all men and women call),

Patouma Nje Nje Nje, Patouma Nje Nje Nje,
Patouma a ‘NAME’ lo (=‘NAME’ calls), Patouma Nje Nje Nje

Patouma Nje NjeIDON!, the band in which I played for 10 years, made a journey from The Gambia to Guinea and back in 2005. The drummers and dancers all went with me. Driving cars ourselves through the red sand of West Africa! After a day of driving we were sometimes all covered in red sand. Here a picture of almost all the women in our group. Five dancers! A full story of the journey you can find here


Youssouf & Kassoum Keita, Konsankuy, Mali 2012, Youssouf Keita, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, 2017.

Update history
  • 11 March 2021: New on the website
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