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Kenya : the Isukuti dance,heritage requiring urgent safeguarding


#TourismeDurable #SustainableTourism #Kenya #Culture #Safeguarding


If one travels to Kenya for its fabulous safari opportunities, one should not forget the cultural richness of the local populations. Encounters with Kenyans will probably be one of your fondest travel memories. Very welcoming and always curious to meet foreigners, the Kenyan people are both touching and fascinating with their culture and ancient traditions.

The Isukuti dance of the Isukha and Idakho communities of western Kenya is a traditional celebratory dance. Accompanied by drums and chants, she is described in the UNESCO text as passionate and energetic, and fast-paced. It plays a role of cohesion between members of different families and different communities. Births, initiations, weddings, funerals, commemorations, inaugurations, religious festivities, sporting events and other public gatherings are all opportunities to represent it according to the description. The name of this dance comes from that of the drums which come in three sizes. Other instruments are metal rattles and an antelope horn. Men and women dance in two separate rows, one per gender. A soloist accompanies the dancers by singing verses on specific themes. The costumes of the dancers evolve and are modernized, in particular for questions of modesty: “my God, we are Africans, let us be decent”, says a dancer quoted in an article. There are competitions around this dance .

The representations and executions of this dance tend to become rare. The knowledge relating to this dance is mainly held by old people, who within the young generations find successors with difficulty. This explains the decline of this practice, which since 2014 has been on the list of intangible heritage requiring urgent safeguarding.


The financial means and the materials to make the costumes and the instruments are running out, another cause of the decline. Finally, this artistic genre seems to be going out of fashion in favor of others, more commercial and contemporary.



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      Kenya responsible travel     Kenya is an East African country with a coastline on the Indian Ocean. It includes savannah, lacustrine

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Kenya : the Isukuti dance,heritage requiring urgent safeguarding