Dancing to a different beat

The Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble offered a dance to a different beat with much energy and stamina. In celebration of Black History Month, members of the Ensemble gathered in Richland's cafeteria Feb. 21 to share some of the African cultural diaspora. They invited students to dance and be one race (the human race), to the sound of African drums.  

A steady tempo played by the shekere and djembe caught the attention of students passing by. The voices of the drums, known as the dundun family commanded attention.

The dundun family of drums from West Africa is made up of three drums with different functions. “Doundounba” is the biggest drum and is the leading voice of the set, also known as The Father. The mid-size drum is known as “Sangban” and it is responsible for the movement and tone of the total set. It represents the Mother. “Kenkeni” is the smallest drum and is known as the “talking” drum. It is the child of the set. Together they are a reminder of how to maintain peace and harmony within a family, according to Brother Kweku, an elder member of the ensemble

One dancer, referred to as Brother Adrian said to the crowd,  “In African dance, we love when you interact.” Then proceeded to urge the crowd to join them on the dance floor.   

When the drums started again, the last beatplayed was a traditional rhythm that signified the women's return from harvest. 

The crowd joined in the dance that meant it was time to eat.