I N G O M A   P L A N E T   

Masters drummers from Burundi and African folklore


view:  full / summary

Burundi and Rwanda cultural music and dances

Posted by Allemaque Bucumi on April 18, 2010 at 2:32 PM Comments comments (27)

Intore Dancers


Music and dance plays an important role in the traditions of Burundian and Rwandan people. They have a variety of music and dance which range from acts that demonstrate epics commemorating excellence and bravery, humorous lyrics to hunting roots. Some celebratory dances are backed by a drum orchestra which typically comprises seven to nine members and collectively produce a hypnotic and exciting explosion set of intertwining rhythms.

Lucky visitors may chance upon spontaneous traditional performances in the villages of Rwanda or Burundi. In theses countries the Intore used to be a dance troop. Founded several centuries ago The Intore – literally the Chosen Ones – once perfomed exclusively for the Royal Court, but today their exciting act can be arranged at a short telephone call through INGOMA PLANET cultural group.

We have been talking about Rwanda and Burundi and many people may ask where theses countries are situated.


Rwanda sits at the hub of Africa, at the center the Albertine Rift, where deep volcanic forces are pressing the continental plates apart, you will discover a world of exquisite beauty and unsurpassed biodiversity. Rwanda is the bridge between the forest ecosystems of the Congo basin and the great rift valleys of the east. It shares in the biological riches of both worlds, offering a concentration of biodiversity found nowhere else in Africa. In other words Rwanda is “ the place where Africa comes together.” At the North of Rwanda there is Uganda; West- Congo; South- Burundi and at East- Tanzania.Burundi lies on the Great African Plateau formed by Nile and Zaire river basins. The western slopes of the

ridge-line forming these rivers descend abruptly into the Great East African Rift Valley toward the Rusizi plain and lake Tanganyika. The eastern slopes rise toward the central uplands.

Burundi- the country on the Heart center ) of Africa is bounded by Rwanda to the North, Tanzania to theEast and SouthLake Tanganyika to the Southwest

and Democratic Republic of Congo to the West.We can’t talk about Burundi without saying a word about one of INGOMA PLANET’ s project “ Master Drummers” of Burundi.


The Masters Drummers


In Burundi the drum has a very strong symbolical meaning. Drums were used traditionally used to announce the venue of high rank or public manifestation .The “Karyenda” ( the special drum) was the main traditional symbol of Burundi and its kings (mwami). It had semidivine status . The mwami was was said to interpret the messages of the beatings of Karyenda and interpret them into rules for the kingdom.Traditionally the most important folk songs and dances were performed to extol the virtues of the kingship.As sacred objects, the drums were much more than simple musical instruments. They were used for rituals and special circumstances: a royal coronation, funeral, wedding.The beating of drums also signalizedcertain rites, such as the mwami rose in the morning or was going to sleep, or marking a special occasion atthe court. Drums had various names such as“dispenser of peace” orlady of land”.