Fire breather in Amiens (North of France), Site devoted to my daugther Mame Seynabou M'BAYE
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Senegalese and griot culture


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since June 2008
Senegalese and griot culture

The fire performance:
Khadim M'BAYE not only breathes fire, but also eats it ! He plays with the flames, he cuddles them, swallowes them, breathes them out... These performances require a genuine professional know-how, and an excellent knowledge of the natural elements (fire, of course, but also wind and water). To reach such kind of self-control, Khadim became the friend of the fire: to submit it to his willings, he learnt how to respect it. This knowledge belongs to african traditions. Formerly, these feats occured during festivals or ancestral initiation rituals. Today adapted for the stage, these gestures revisit the roots, the symbols of self-control and strenght. The fire performance inscribe into a street festival, a dinner evening, a group spectacle...

The tama:
Armpit drum with double membranes, it's the "speaking" drum. The tama is played with fingertips and a small bent wood-stick. The tama's skin is the one of the Varan or the snake. By pressing the strings with his arm, the tama artist modifies the sound timbre of the instrument. The tama is mainly in use in Senegal by modern orchestras, but still by traditional griots accompagnying the voice song.

The sabar:
The sabar is a wooden percussion, whose goat's skin membrane is streched by strings and wooden joints that allow to tune it. It is played with a hand and a thin rod. The rods are made of sump wood or daqar wood (tamarin). If we may hear the sound of sabar everywhere in Senegal, on radio waves as well as in the deep bush, the sabar is at first the instrument of wolof, lebou and serere griots.

The Xiin:
The xiin is a kind of sabar, used by the Baye Fall. Baye Fall are the muslim disciples of Sheikh Ibrahima Fall, they constitute a muslim movement connected to the Mourides group. Like their spiritual leader, they wear dreadlocks and colorful ragged clothes, in a symbol of poverty and abnegation. Contrary to orthodox Islam, Baye Fall can play music, exclusively xiin instrument. Its body is straight and wide open. It is ended by a goat skin alike the other sabars.

I devote my website and all my spectacles to my daughter Mame Seynabou M'BAYE, that I love so much and that I deeply miss... I hope to see her as soon as possible... Khadim M'BAYE
Direct contact: +33 630 55 88 03
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