Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Arts: Folk Dancers and Folk Singers: West Africa
(1,464 words)

Not conceptualized as a separate genre, dance in West African societies reflects and responds to societal structures relating to status, gender, age, kin, and class. Within the dance, individuals negotiate their social place via bodily statements of performance quality and by applying the accepted rules for dance. Widespread acceptance and local interpretation of Islam have had varying effects on dancing in West Africa. Many of the distinctive features of West African indigenous life including d…

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Diouf, Esailama G. A., “Arts: Folk Dancers and Folk Singers: West Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0291j>
First published online: 2009

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