Wooden Trumpets & Water Drums

In the depths of the great African jungle is a nation forgotten by the modern world.. or perhaps never known.  Welcome to the Central African Republic (a.k.a. Centrafrique).

Bayaka Tribesman // Extreme Honey Collecting

Bayaka Tribesman // Extreme Honey Collecting

While global eyes are on the power struggle in Ukraine, the CAR (a nation of roughly the same size) is currently experiencing its own internal division that is bordering on civil war.  The country has long been split between Christian (from the French colonial period) and Muslim (from northern Africa) populations, echoing the same violent saga that ruptured Sudan.  May the people come together and forgive their differences!

Though political struggles have prevented the development of the CAR music industry, many local talents have nonetheless drawn influence from the potent sounds of neighboring countries (notably, Cameroon and the DR Congo) to carve their own masterwork of contemporary rhythms, including the Bangui Rumba.  These boys were tops:

But the sweetest sounds of all remain gloriously hidden in the great jungle connecting CAR, Cameroon and Gabon, preserved from the rolling ball of modern religion and style. The so-called Baka ‘pygmies’ (a term to describe smaller than average humans) of the forest make some of the wildest, most futuristic-sounding, ancient music on the planet.  (In timeless cultures, everyone is a singer!)  Even Herbie Hancock snatched the Baka’s style.  Oh yeah, they rock on guitars too.

Hear these fine sounds and more on the Wandering Rhythms {{CENTRAFRIQUE SPECIAL}}.

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