While 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
Subscribe to the podcast »
Podcast: Download (7.3MB)