August 22, 2008

Bushmen to Bring Unique Sound to City

A FAMILY of Kalahari Bushmen are to give a special performance of traditional trance music and dance in a bid to raise awareness of threats to their culture.

The !Gubi family from Namibia will perform alongside Ocean Terminal on Tuesday as part of the Mela festival.

Their music is usually played through the night to bring players into an altered state of consciousness, when they perform healing rituals on other members of their tribe.

The family of six, from Namibia, are touring the UK to bring attention to the plight of their people. Originally nomadic hunter- gatherers, they have now been officially assigned land in the Kalahari Desert, which is poor in natural resources, and are no longer allowed to roam the land. They must also share it with other tribes, which has resulted in conflict and competition for resources. The family, who range in age from 18 to 80, hope the tour will help them raise money to set up a community development project for their tribe.

Using traditional instruments such as the mouth bow and the mbira - also known as a thumb piano - they will entertain audiences at the Mela in a performance which will also include a film.

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