Africa/African-American Culture

Expand/Collapse Africa/African-American Culture


These KET videos provide examples of West African and African-American music, dance, and storytelling.

Performances include a Nigerian welcome dance and Togolese cleansing dance.

A Mahouka stilt dancer from Cote D'Ivoire performs a recreational dance and a sacred rite in honor of the spirit world, and a Malian musician performs Music of Mali and joins a drum and dance group in a dance of celebration.

A storyteller recounts "Anansi's Rescue from the River" a tale from the Ashanti of Ghana.

Music and dance from slave communities in the southern U.S. include performances of "Zudio," "Hambone," and the Plantation Dance/Ring Shout.

  • Zudio | African/African-American Culture

    This African-American game song is sung to movements described in the lyrics and demonstrated by the children in the audience. Many African-American music and dance styles emphasize rhythm and self-expression, both evident here.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Gue Pelou | African/African-American Culture

    Moha Dosso, a professional stilt dancer and musician, performs the Gue Pelou dance from the Ivory Coast. The Gue Pelou is a sacred rite used to honor and communicate with the spirit world and can be danced to protect the village.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Plantation Dance/Ring Shout | African/African-American Culture

    The Plantation Dance/Ring Shout represents a style of dance and music found in African slave communities on plantations in the southern United States, Caribbean Islands, and other locations. This plantation dance, or juba (giouba) dance, was often danced in a group around two performers.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Sohu | African/African-American Culture

    In this video Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theatre performs Sohu, a ritual cleansing dance from Togo.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Manjani | African/African-American Culture

    The Imani Dance and Drum Company perform the Manjani, a West African dance that celebrates an important event such as the harvest (as in this performance), a wedding, or a naming ceremony. This performance segment focuses on the musicians as much as the dancers, showing the important relationship between the two groups.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • E Sin Mi D'Africa | African/African-American Culture

    In this video Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theatre performs a welcome dance that combines movements from several traditional dances of the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Anansi's Rescue from the River | African/African-American Culture

    In this video, storyteller Nana Yaa Asantewaa performs the story “Anansi’s Rescue from the River.” The Anansi tales are told by the Ashanti people of Ghana, West Africa, and have been passed down through the generations by oral tradition.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 1-8
  • Hambone | African/African-American Culture

    In this video folk singer John McCutcheon demonstrates the hambone, an African-American rhythm technique that uses the whole body as a “drum set” to produce different sounds.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: K-8
  • Music of Mali | African/African-American Culture

    Yaya Diallo, a musician from Mali, talks about how he came to live in Kentucky, the healing properties of music, and his interest in new forms of African music that combine the music of the elders with that of young people. Then he introduces the piece he will perform, describing it as a “thank you to ancestors.” He plays the balaphon and talking drum.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Kou Kou | African/African-American Culture

    In this video Moha Dosso, a professional stilt dancer and musician, performs the Kou-Kou dance from the Ivory Coast. Kou-Kou is a communal recreational dance, often used to teach kids how to dance. Moha Dosso performs with the Kyene Drum Ensemble.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12

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