20 x 14” Digital Print on archival paper
Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print of 50
©2013 Djibril N’Doye
The Balafon musical instrument is known from the Mandinka (Mandingue) Empire as invented by Soumangourou Kanté, the king of Sosso of Mali, who himself played it in his private room to boost his spirit before going to battle - and only he played it.
The balafon was not known in 1350 as an instrument. But music has no border and is a universal language. The balafon is now one of the most well-known instruments in traditional West African music, along with the kora, the drum, and other handmade instruments.
The chambers of resonance are composed of many hollowed gourds of different diameters, placed below the wooden slats. The balafon is known as the blacksmith's instrument. The motion in playing it shows the balafon as the anvil and the sticks with rubber tips at the end, as the hammer. Most movements can be identified as when the blacksmith is working.