Tuareg women playing drum, clapping hands and singing melodies during spontaneous event called tende, Tombouctou, Mali. slide

Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.
Image indexed by negative number
"A more organized 'conversation' with an audience is called a 'tende'. It is a spontaneous event. It may occur during a wedding or at a child's christening or when a person returns from a long absence or when there is a visitor. Usually an elderly woman starts a tende by bringing a wooden mortar, filling it with water, and covering it with a skin. This is the drum. Sometimes the song is accompanied by the sound of the imzad (anzad), or one-stringed violin. The women rhytmically drum the most famous melodies, clap their hands, and sing while the men listen, speak, and recite poems. Sometimes young men take the initiative and show off with their camels. The tende can last for hours until the women who started it decide it is time for sleep. When these meetings are larger and more formal, they are called 'ahal'." [Castelli Gattinara G., 2006: Poetry as a Reflection of Tuareg Cultural Values and Identities; Art of Being Tuareg. UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History]. During his trip to Mali, Elisofon visited the Kel Tademekket confederation of Tuareg people located in the Tombouctou region. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.
Repository Loc.
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, 950 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20560-0708

Object Details

Data Source
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Elisofon, Eliot
Physical description
slide : col
Color slides