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1981, Mali, Falaise of Bandiagara 

Posted 10/2/2010 3:35:02 PM

This is me, in 1981, at the top of the Falaise of Bandiagara, playing banjo for a group of Dogon who were on their way to market. I was on a quest to find out how the African banjo relatives/ antecedents were played. Later that evening, after dark (so, alas, there are no photos) I met a Dogon musician playing a banjo-like instrument (skin covered gourd, strings tied on to the neck that consisted of a stick impaling the body), and we played with each other. I was astonished to find that he used the same clawhammer techniques as I did. I seem to have been the first person to have found and recognized clawhammer playing in West Africa.

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2 comments on “1981, Mali, Falaise of Bandiagara”

plunknplinkntwang Says:
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 @7:36:24 AM

Wow! Invites more questions though. Other than Rueban did you play any other tunes and what was the Dogon's reaction to these?

Zischkale Says:
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 @10:01:48 AM

Excellent question above--the follow-up being why haven't you published a book yet?? Don't make someone write a biography and exaggerate all your stories tenfold. Or do, and then Ben Affleck will probably do a film adaptation.

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