Traditional Musical Instruments and Ankole Cattle in Burundi

A warrior celebration during which traditional instraments could be used, according to folks here in Burundi about 1900. Source: Hans Meyer, Les Barundi. Source - Une étude ethnologique en Afrique orientale.

A warrior celebration in Burundi about 1900.  Musical instruments, such as the nzamba horn-flute discussed below, could be used at these times.  Source: Les Barundi. Une étude ethnologique en Afrique orientale, by Hans Meyer.

Traditional musical instruments, aside from the drum, are difficult to come by and so I was quite pleased when I was recently given an nzamba, which is a flute made of the horn of an Ankole cow –

Ankole cattle in central Burundi, c. 1910.  Source: Hans Meyer, Les Barundi. Une étude ethnologique en Afrique orientale.

Ankole cattle in central Burundi, c. 1910. Source: Hans Meyer, Les Barundi. Une étude ethnologique en Afrique orientale.

The horn-flute was tried out by an elder in the village, but unfortunately it is missing a piece in the interior.  We will try to find someone who can restore it, and they experiment with traditional Burundi music.  Here are a couple of photos of the nzamba that was given to me:

The following video is of a couple of Ankole bulls having a good time sparing – a favorite activity of these local cattle.  Compare the eye movements in the video with those of the cattle in the above painting of local Ankole – in both, the eyes are actively engaged in viewing their opponents.

The following video must be taken in the States, not only because of the audio (which is pretty funny), but also because the bulls are much too fat.  Fatness has become a desirable attribute of edible livestock in the States, along with heavy marbling of the meat. Livestock here are thin by comparison and their meat is correspondingly lean.  Good for making stews and chewy skewers, but not for tender steaks.  To see the differences, check out the pictures of local herds in this blog compared to the video.

A herd of ankole cattle that I passed in central Burundi that is on its way from Tanzania to the abattoir in Bujumbura - perhaps the last, long commercial cattle drive in Africa.

A herd of Ankole cattle that I passed in central Burundi.  The herd is on its way from western Tanzania, east Africa, to the abattoir in Bujumbura (capital of Burundi) where they will be slaughtered.  This is perhaps the last, long commercial cattle drive in Africa, the trip taking three to four days and accompanied by professional drovers.  Horns at the abattoir in Bujumbura are sold on to artisans and others.

Advertisements

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Ankole cattle, Art in Africa, Burundi, Cuisine, Food, Living here, Tanzania and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Traditional Musical Instruments and Ankole Cattle in Burundi

  1. Not only in Burundi in many ancient cultural countries have used many traditional instruments for some of their needs. Mostly traditional musical instrument is to spread any news or else for their entertainment. Most of instrument they made by horns and also they used many natural materials to make music instruments.

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Thnk you, Eve, for the details, and yes indeed, even today some of the traditional instruments here continue to be used, especially the very large drums.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s