plays Creole folk music, which has traits in common with gospel and polyphonic call-and-response styles but is accompanied by all kinds of Surinamese percussion. Typical are double-skinned drums, the zigzag or box rattle, and the kwa-kwa bangi. Like with much South American music, the kawina's rhythms originated in Africa. Colonists shipped Africans to the Americas in the 16th century, where they were forced to work on plantations as slaves. These slaves brought their religions and music along. To pass the time they sang during work, often in a pattern of one voice calling out and a chorus answering in unison. This music was so rhythmic in Suriname that it became a dance: the kawina. The lyrics have always remained in call-and response style. In the late 1990s, kawina was rediscovered by young Surinamese born and living in the Netherlands.(WU 15 GR)
Archive available for: Nolly Kawina
An Afro-Surinamese afternoon at the Vaillant Theatre in the heart of The Hague's Schilderswijk neighbourhood. Writer Cynthia McLeod takes you into the history of Suriname and the Netherlands, to the 1737 disaster of the slave ship Leusden. She reads from her novel Tutuba, which tells the story of the girl who survived. You will have every opportunity to talk to the writer. Of course there will also be singing and dancing and tasty Afro-Surinamese food.
This programme has been put together by Ricardo Lemmer of the Mosaic Foundation in collaboration with the Vaillant Theatre and Writers Unlimited.