23 November 2005

Gathering Song with Louis Sarno

In the late 1980s, a man named Louis Sarno decided to spend time living in the rainforest of the CentralAfrican Republic with a community of Ba-Benjeli (or Babenzele) Pygmies - also known as the Bayaka people. So smitten was he that he spent more than a decade living with them, becoming accepted into their community and ultimately courting and marrying a Bayaka woman. He recorded their songs - really just the vocal accompaniment of their everyday lives, and released some of these recordings along with his 1993 book (now out of print) Song from the Forest: My life among the Ba-Benjelle Pygmies. This track is of a song sung by the Bayaka women as they gathered mushrooms in the forest. A world apart from those of us preparing to enjoy Thanksgiving with our families tomorrow, perhaps. But the singing conveys universal themes (though perhaps we've forgotten...): community, gratitude, and connection to tradition and place.

mp3: Bayaka women: "Mushroom Gathering Song"
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment