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Music from Sao Tome

Music of the world

The Archipelago of Sao Tome and Principe, located off the coast of Gabon, was discovered more than five centuries ago by Portuguese navigators and has been independent for thirty years. The colonization and the influx of populations (Portuguese, slaves from Africa, Dutch, French ...) made the theater of multiple cultural crossings. "Angolares", descendants of slaves from Angola and "Forros", son of whites and descendants of half-breeds of the first generation, constitute the bulk of the population. The various musical styles take sounds sometimes African, sometimes Brazilian or European: the "Tchiloli", composed of minuets and counter-dances, narrates the confrontation between Charlemagne and the family of Mantua, and rhythm all the great Catholic festivals. "Dança Congo" or "Dance of Captain Congo" is the most African and most popular dances of Sao Tome. The "Puita", homage dance to the dead leading to the trance, is accompanied by flutes of bamboo. "D'jambi", ritual with curative powers is close to the "Brazilian macumba". Voices, musical arcs, drums, flutes, rattles and scrapers are the vehicles of this amazing music, at the confluence of rich and contrasting cultures, almost never published until today.