Sina Ma Mi Boumba - Bwaba - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Sina Ma Mi Boumba

Last update 10 March 2023

Dutch French

S Sina Ma Mi Boumba is a Bwaa balafon piece from Mali and Burkina Faso. The symbolic meaning is that 1+1=3. The twins Sina and Boumba each have a cow. One a bull, the other a cow. Together they have a female calf. That’s an opportunity for both! Now they both have a female cow, which can provide calves again. “Sina and his Boumba”, tore to nanu: “the bull has sired a female calf”, bun a ban nyu sinu lee: “it is a beautiful happiness for both” (fot the twins).
Within the Bwaa culture it is a tradition among the griot’s to give twins recognizable names: Boy – girl: Sina – Boumba, 2 boys: Sina – Pasini, two girls Funè – Boumba. Something about the language: in Bwamou, the language of the Bwa / Bwaba, you write the girl’s name as Bwonba. If you read this back in other languages, you will see: Moumba, Bo (e) mba, Boba, B (o) umba.
The song is also on the CD of Faratuben (“combination of white and black”), Kassoum Keïta’s group with traditional Bwaa songs.

Sina ma mi Boumba tòrè to nanu, u bu an, ban nyu sinu léé
Lo Sina ma mi Boumba tòrè to nazun, tò bu an, ban Nyu sinu léé
Sina ma mi Boumba tòrè to na bè, moun bè an, ban nyu sinu léé
Lo Sina ma mi Boumba tòrè to nazun, moun bè an, ban Nyu sinu wa

Lyrics that are sung on Faratuben’s album:
O-ou tcho ma tèn mè wa wa ni sa, to-o mi bè mou bo
O-ou tcho ma tèn mè wa wa ni sa, tso-o mi bè nè
Sa nou yi ma moun yo bè o we tou so wa, to mi bè mou bo
Sa nou yi ma moun yo bè o we tou so wa, fra ma-a mi sè moun tè
Lo ya Lo yi ma nyi nya fè, a fé fè nzou nye la, fi wè sia ro zou bè nè

The melody comes in the second time Pattern A1 is played.

Here’s an impression of how we worked on it in class: Youssouf plays for:



Youssouf Keïta and Hakiri Koïta, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, January 2019. CD ‘Sira Kura’ by Faratuben.

update history
  • 10 March 2023: symbolic meaning explained in more detail
  • 16 February 2021: Minor change in PDF pattern D2, layout improvement
  • 2 October 2020: Complete revision of soundfiles and some patterns
  • 27 September 2020: New on the website, with an extra pattern (E) and vocal notes
  • 11 May 2020: PDF version with Percussion accompaniment, and custom accompaniment patterns
  • 6 June 2019: Final first version
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