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Geotag Icon Mauritanian music

audio, music posted by on Aug 13th, 2009

DancingWhile we had Terjit Oasis to ourselves at night, during the daytime it thronged with visitors from around Mauritania, in Terjit to visit the oasis or for the date harvest. The day we were there, a Mauritanian woman and her daughters had hired a group of musicians “from the desert” to come and play. They set up under the date palms, powering the rickety soundsystem with a car battery borrowed from somebody in the village.

While one woman sang most songs, in this song (chosen from the three hours of recording we have) she took a rest and four young women sang. A man played a tidinit (a Moorish lute). Two other women played drums made out of oil drums and goatskins (t’bol) and a third played an upturned metal bowl with a pair of flip flops. When we asked if we could record and post this on the internet, they were delighted (as long as we took no photos of the musicians). Our question “Does your group have a name?” was met with a lot of laughter and a long discussion, after which they settled on a name that sounded like Stah. Although it’s generally agreed that this is an old folk song, everybody we’ve asked about this style of music has given us a different answer, so we’re keeping the title vague in the hope that someone more knowledgeable than us will be along soon with more details…

For more music and sound recordings from the Sahara, we highly recommend sahelsounds.

Date and time recorded: 16:30 local time, 9th August 2009
Location: Terjit Oasis, Mauritania (view on map)
Copyright: Stah / Listen to Africa
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  1. We heard music just like this at a wedding in Chinguetti! Hope you guys are doing well. No idea how you managed to cycle in the Saharan heat. We almost died in a pool of sweaty sand.
    Just got home from Bamako a couple of days ago. Missing Africa (but not the food!).
    Good luck with the rest of your trip.

    Grace and Sam (Chez Momo, Nouadhibou)

  2. Brilliant to hear from you and glad you got to Bamako – and home again – OK! Yep, the heat inland was impossible, wasn’t it? We had two attempts at cycling in it then admitted defeat…!

  3. This is Cheikh Ahmed from Mauritania . I realy thank you very much for your grate job. But I am so angry that I had invited you in Nouakchott but you did not respond nor even postpned it.
    when you finiched your project please contacte me on my email.

    You did a grate job.
    congratulation, keep on .

  4. Chekh Ahmed, we really enjoyed meeting you and talking at Terjit, and I”m so sorry we never managed to come and see you in Nouakchott. I will send you an email now.

    Bex and Huw

  5. i love the music ding dong

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