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Mauritian Sega Dance

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Uploaded on Nov 9, 2009

The traditional Sega dancing of Mauritius. The Sega is a dance which originated from the ritual music of Madagascar and the mainland of Africa, and it is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian Way of Life: Joy, Carefree and Lively.

Originally sung by men and women who had been sold as slaves but whose souls had remained sensitive to music, the Sega is nowadays a folksong which has integrated itself within the framework of our folklore.

It is a cry from the soul trying to transcend the miseries and heartaches of life, while at the same time expressing the universal human desire for joy and happiness. It tells the joys and sorrows of the peasants and the fishing folks. It is a nostalgic heritage of the villagers. Its beats, gripping in intensity, now provide entertainment to Mauritians of all walks of life in towns and villages.

The original instruments are fast disappearing, making way for the more conventional orchestra ensemble. However, all along the coastal fishing villages the traditional instruments are still being used: The Ravane, which is a wooden hoop over which has been stretched a piece of goat skin; the Coco, (Maracas) which represents the percussion section; the Triangle, a triangular piece of metal which tinkles when tapped with an iron rod. The traditional guitar which was a single string instrument with an arc attached to an empty "Calebasse", has been replaced by the more sophisticated Hawaiian and electric guitar.

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