Tyowa Bayo - Bwa/Bwaba - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Tyowa Bayo

Last edited on 5 September 2021

Dutch French

T Tyowa Bayo (Choa Bayou) is the name of a song and rhythm of the Bwaba, also known as the Bwa from Burkina Faso and Mali. Bayo is the name of a man that lived long ago in a Bwaba village. He was known for his special way of clearing the dance area when it had become to crowded. During festivities all the people (in their enthusiasm or being drunk) were all pressing each other in the centre of the dance area. Bayo was called by the balafonists, with this song. Then Bayo, wherever he was, or even if he was sleeping, he came instantly. With large steps and also dancing squatted and with lots of large waving he always succeeded in his ‘work’. He come wearing lots of bells around his ankles. The people could hear him coming and started clearing the floor already, even before he was there! When free, Bayo got the chance to do his own dance in the middle of the dance floor. The squat steps were in a way that he jumped squat-like and spread and closed the legs. It was really a miracle, the way he cleared the floor! The people called it the secret (Tyowa) of Bayo. Nowadays the song is also played when some more space in the dance area is required. All balafon pieces used to be played on a equi-pentatonic balafon. Therefore the melody-line can change.



I ri yo, i ri yo, bwè, bwè re e Tyowa Bayo (2x)
bè-i dan, bè-i dan, bè bè-i dan, wawèh soung ba o, bè-i dan wahwèh jeriba

Hurray, hurray, Tyowa Bayo is here and he’s in shape!
he youngsters, make way, or you shall be pushed away
he old people, make way, or you shall be lifted (to the side)

Tyowa Bayo

The ZION hotel has been home to two turtles for years. The enclosure made for them gets bigger every year because the turtles just keep growing! Especially during our stay, they are well fed; because they cook for us, many vegetables are prepared. The fact that we have a ‘Grande Salade’ for lunch as standard also does the turtles good.


Youssouf Keita, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso January 2017 and Frédérique Induni (from Youssouf and Kassoum Keita, Konsankuy, Mali 2010).

update history
  • 15 November 2022: starting point Intro appointed (bottom column)
  • 5 September 2021: Layout changed (and fewer pages)
  • 30 August 2020: Improved audiofiles and added Pattern B audio
  • 3 June 2020: Added a self made intro / break.
  • 14 November 2019: New!
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