Orodara Sidiki - Tamako - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Tamako / Orodara Sidiki

Last updated 16 August 2021


O Orodara Sidiki is a song that is sung with a balafon piece in which the dance qualities of Sidiki are sung. He was once a resident of Orodara, a village in South West Burkina Faso. The son of Sidiki, Mamadou, was very loved, he loved the youth. Now it is also played in honor of good dancers. “The road that people travel, the road of life is great …”.


Tamako (as the rhythm of the balafon piece Orodara Sidiki should actually be called) is already an old piece of music. It dates from the time of kings in West Africa. Tamako was played when the king or another dignity arrived in a town or village. As a tribute to the hospitality and the reception in the village, the king marches to the rhythm of the music. It walks into the village and people sing to him that she marches so beautifully to the rhythm. After this, the following song is traditionally used: “Famade”: Famadè (n) Kôrôbô is a Bambara rhythm that warns against not telling the secrets of the prince, because then you will get into trouble. However, you shouldn’t just pass on the secrets of others (less prominent, friends, poor). You must therefore always apply this respect for the royal. After that the song “Lamagoya” was played. (The balafola have come to make music for peace, not for war).

Ee tamakoo kandji, Orodara Sidiki tamakoo bedi
(the ‘king’ arrives, he marches good!’)
Ee wariko bedi, Orodara Sidiki wariko kandji
(..and he has money, lots of money, he’s got it all!)
A dentje Mamadou kamelea kabo, eee tama djoo kanji
Oradara Sidiki toeni tsjira me tama dja doenjima sirakabo


Lessons from Julien Coulibali in Burkina Faso, material from Jo Koreman, the book The Voice of the Balafon, by Adrian Egger and Mousa Hema..

update history
  • 16 August 2021: More compact layout
  • 11 May 2021: Added extra (slow) mp3 files for practising
  • 5 May 2017: New!
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