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Master drummer Mamady Keita describes Kuku in his book: Mamady Keita, "A Life for The Djembe";

Today, Kuku is a popular rhythm played at all kinds of festivals, including full moon celebrations. Kuku is a women's dance performed in a circle. In Beyla, the rhythm is played very fast; however, in Odjene, it is rather slow.

Originally, Kuku was played when women came back from fishing. They would take their fishing tools (e.g the net) and dance. Initially, dunduns were not part of this rhythm, which was played on djembes, and one of the three was always tuned low.


  • Kuku Kuku (PDF, 44 Kb)

    Kuku notation compiled by Ben Emerton

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Kuku play along

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Grand Master Mamady Keita plays Kuku