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Gidamba Keto

Traditional Ethnic Group: Malinke, Northeast Guinea (Hamana region)

Mamady Keita describes Gidamba in his book A Life for The Djembe

"The rhythm is often played at baptisms, weddings, and all other spontaneous celebrations. Only women perform this dance, though individually, not in a group. They dance short solos in the centre of the circle, accompanied by a drum solo.

Gidamba Keto is one of many different versions of Gidamba taught by Mamady Delmundo Keita.


Hans Sutton describes the story behind the song in his notation:

"The song here is about a young man who jumps over a fallen tree to show courage. The jump is dangerous and if he thinks about what his parents would say or how they would feel if [something bad happened], then he will lose the courage to jump. But some girls challenge him to make the jump."

The story ends in tragedy and serves as a lesson for younger people to listen to the wisdom that older generations have to share.