I wanted to avoid clichéd posts about interesting dancing, music, and food, but I can't help it. Since I have been here I have been amazed at how much music and dance are a part of life. If there is a group of four or five guys hanging out and the radio is on they will be dancing. There is road construction between my city, Mafeteng, and the capital Maseru. Whenever I travel the road I will see the flag guys - the guys directing traffic - stop a car, and if that car has the stereo playing the flag guy will start dancing. He will let that car go and then the next car that stops and has music playing will get him dancing again.

On the property where I live there is a large house owned by my landlady, my smaller house, and then also some smaller rooms that people rent. In one of the rooms is a mother and her baby. The baby is probably less then a year old. She can sit up and crawl, but that is about it. Oh...and for the first few weeks that I lived here she would cry anytime I came within a couple meters of her. She dances! When the men who also rent the smaller rooms come home from work and put the radio on they will dance and the baby does this weird gyrating torso movement combined with bouncing around. She is really an awful dancer, but it is still dancing.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend a cultural event in a village called Kolo, in the district of Mafeteng. There were some dance performances that I was able to video tape. The tape probably doesn't do justice to the dance. It sounds corny, but the dancers seem to have the bass (the beat, not a fish) inside their bodies. The dancing is so simple, but it is so rythmic. There is not much for accompanying music. Just singing, clapping, and some people beating plastic drums. The boys also have little shakers on their ankles which makes noise. I am not sure what the boys' dance is about - I think possibly something to do with war. The girls' dance is about horse riding I believe. All the shrill hollering that you hear is encouragement. It's not part of the song.

April 24th, 2010

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