Klaus Wachsmann Uganda Collection

Lugingo (the name of a medium or Musambwa) - Klaus Wachsmann Uganda Field Recordings

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  • Recording locations

    Gadumire, Uganda

  • Performers

    unidentified (7 kazoos) , unidentified (female chorus / rattles) , unidentified (mugebe drum) , unidentified (ndumi drum) , unidentified (ndulumusi drum) , unidentified (entabuzi drum)

  • Recordist

    Wachsmann, Klaus, 1907-1984

  • Description

    Item notes: Wachsmann's original recording no.: 54.342. Performer notes: From available documentation: a group of women of Baswezi cult from Gadumire. Their leader is called Hoya. Performance features a set of four drums, with seven women singing into their kazoos, and shaking rattles.

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User notes for this item

This is typical music for possession among the Baswezi religious cults of central Busoga. The women singing into kazoos are representing the voices of spirits, the two drummers (one keeping a steady rhythm going on one drum, and the other playing on the other three or sometimes all four drums) sound 'texts' that are addressing the spirits - inviting them to come into the heads of the mediums or sick persons present. The continuous 'white noise' of the rattles is maintained throughout to help heat-up the performance. For a detailed account of such a ritual see my ch. 5 "Appeasing the spirits..." in 'Indigenous Religious Musics' (ed. by K. Ralls-Macleod and G. Harvey), Ashgate publishers, 2000.

Posted by Peter Cooke, Hon. Fellow, University of Birmingham on 16/11/2010 20:52:00