Dance of the Maasai People

>> Feb 3, 2009

A joyful video of Maasai villagers dancing their traditional dance. Video courtesy of cokeeorg who taped this at a Maasai village in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania.


Australian Aboriginal Music: Song with Didgeridoo

Great video featuring snap shots of Australian aboriginal life and native art works with aboriginal music by Richard Walley on the background.

[Source: johnxxx20000]


Wild Fire by Samingad, a Taiwanese Aboriginal Singer

>> Feb 2, 2009

A very beautiful song by Samingad, a Taiwanese aboriginal singer of the Puyuma tribe. Here's an interview with Samingad where she talks about her music and the challenges she faced to break into the music industry in Taiwan and other parts of Asia.

The "Voice of Puyuma" speaks up
Translated by Sharon Yang
Via Taiwan Fun

Samingad is an aboriginal singer from the Puyuma tribe. Her albums include songs in her native tribal language and in Mandarin. For her first album, "Voice of Puyuma," released in late 1999, she received a Golden Melody Award for Best New Artist. Her second album "Wild Fire, Spring Wind" was released in September, 2001 and earned her a Golden Melody Award nomination for Best Dialect (Non-Mandarin Language) Female Vocalist. COMPASS Managing Editor Cheryl Robbins had a chance to speak with Samingad recently in Taipei. Following is an excerpt from that interview:

C: Can you tell me about your musical background? What made you decide to make music your career?

S: My whole family can sing well. But, when I was a little girl, I didn't have a good singing voice. However, my grandparents encouraged me to sing and never criticized my voice. Then, when I was 16 years old, my church held an Easter concert. Everyone in the church was to go on stage and sing. I didn't want to sing in front of everyone and tried to sneak out. My mother saw me and told me to go back inside and sing. So, I did. After I finished, everyone told me that they were amazed by my voice and the emotion that I put into my singing. I saw that even my grandmother was in tears. From that time on, I had more confidence and I began to sing more. I got a job working as a waitress in a local restaurant where I also sang from time to time. It was there that I was "discovered", and I had a chance to release my first album with Magic Stone Records in December of 1999.

C: How would you describe your music?
S: I have always insisted on singing in my native language. I guess I can't really describe my music in words. Once people hear me sing, it is clear what my music is about. When I perform in Japan, although people don't understand the words, some of them cry because they can feel the emotion of the songs.

C: As an Aborigine, was it difficult to enter the music market?
S: People are gradually becoming more accepting of aboriginal music in Taiwan, so that it is easier now for aboriginal artists to get a break.

C: Is there a large enough market for aboriginal singers to be able to survive in Taiwan singing in their native language? If not, do you foresee Taiwanese aboriginal music spreading overseas?

S: At present, it is not easy for aboriginal singers to survive if they are not pop stars. But, there is a lot of interest in Taiwanese aboriginal music in foreign countries. The only way to survive is to enter international markets.

C: What do you hope people will take away from listening to your music?
S: I hope people will come away with a respect and better understanding of aboriginal music. Aboriginal songs usually tell stories of life and culture. It is this culture that I hope people will come to know. Many people think that Aborigines are chronically unemployed or alcoholic. But, in actuality, we have a deep culture. I also hope that people will feel tranquility, or a sense of peace, when they listen to my music.

C: Are there any local pop artists that you like or respect?
S: I like Huang Hsiao-hu (¶À¤pµ[). She has a really good voice, and it is obvious that she works hard on her music.

C: What do you like to do in your free time?
S: If I have enough time, I like to go home to Taitung and spend time chatting with my relatives and helping out with the family business of raising chickens.

C: What are your future plans?
S: I hope to enter the European market. Currently, I am working in cooperation with people in the music industry in Italy, and plan to go there soon to perform.


A Mari Traditional Wedding

Here's a very interesting video on the traditional wedding ceremony of the Mari people. If you are wondering where the Mari people are from, wikipedia tells us the answer:

The Mari are a Volga-Finnic people who have traditionally lived along the Volga and Kama rivers in Russia. The majority of Maris today live in the Mari El Republic, with significant populations in the Tatarstan and Bashkortostan republics. In the past, the Mari have also been known as the Cheremis in Russian and the Çirmeş in Tatar.

The Mari people consists of three different groups: the Meadow Mari, who live along the left bank of the Volga, the Mountain Mari, who live along the right bank of the Volga, and Eastern Mari, who live in the Bashkortostan republic. In the 2002 Russian census, 604,298 people identified themselves as "Mari," with 18,515 of those specifying that they were Mountain Mari and 56,119 as Eastern Mari. Almost 60% of Mari lived in rural areas.
Read more.


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