The changing functions and characteristics of African war dances: a case study of the Kiduo war dance

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study was undertaken in order to find out factors that were responsible for the changes in the functions and characteristics of Kiduo war dance, a popular. Hehe traditional dance. This was achieved by interviewing, elders, leaders of cultural groups, the curator of the Mkwawa museum at Kalenga and the library research on Africa dances. . Works of researches and scholars such as clement Ndulute. Elias Songoyi, Frowin Nyoni, Herbert Makoye to mention a few, were consulted in order to obtain the required data. The findings of the research revealed that the functions of the Kiduo dance have undergone drastic changes. Political campaigns, church sermons, wedding ceremonies, local rituals and funerals made full use of the dance which was originally performance by warriors before and after battles. The stylistic characteristics of the dance have also been changing to suit contemporary needs. Dances no longer wear on animal skins nor do they hold spears and arrows during the performances. The performances nowadays are makeup of men and women in contrast to the original practice in which only men were the performers. The songs reflect the context of contemporary performances and not wars. Commercialization of Kiduo war dance has been made possible by inter-ethnic relations that are common all over the nation. This has enabled people from different ethnic groups to perform the dance during different occasions. This was unheard of in pre- colonial days in which only Hehe warriors were qualified to perform the dance. However, one characteristic of the dance, that of stamping the feet on the ground while dancing has not changed.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF GV1713.T34K36)
African war dance, Kiduo war dance, Hehe traditional dance
Kapingu, R.P (2009) The changing functions and characteristics of African war dances: a case study of the Kiduo war dance, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam