Can you hear the drums
Beating in the dust
Hidden by the trees
And houses of mud?
Can you find the passage
Guarded by the goats
Grazing the tall grass
Moving in circles?
Lines are forming,
Women then men,
Bright colored dresses,
Bright lined skirts.
Moving their feet, shaking their bodies
in a simple rhythm, in a fast pace.
Piercing female voice breaks the rhythm
Couples are formed to complete the dance.
Stamping the right foot men approach
Accompanied by frantic percussion sounds
Women shaking gracefully shoulders and bottoms
They rise from the dust ululating, celebrating love.
Mother Earth is trembling with the sweet laughter.
*The Sengenya dance is native to Digo tribes living along the coast in Kenya. It is an energetic joyous dance performed by men and women at big gatherings, especially at local weddings, and to celebrate the end of Ramadan. A wide variety of indigenous percussive instruments – ngoma drums, kayamba shaker, metal rings played with two sticks, shackles – and flute accompany the dance. Sengenya dancers are dressed in kangas, traditional African dress, and are known for their hip and belly swaying moves.