Friends, this morning a message showed up in my mailbox about the next Segou festival of music, dance, puppets, and culture, in Mali, West Africa. I couldn’t resist passing on this news to you all. Groups of us attended this festival in 2005 and 2006 — and the pictures on this year’s website brought back the memories in full force. Wow. I don’t even feel like trying to describe it all! I couldn’t do it justice, in the short time I have right now.
So let me just say this year the big-name performers are going to include Salif Keita, Habib Koite, Baaba Maal, and many many more. Just check out the website. The site is more beautiful than ever, this year, and it will really give you a sense of what this absolute feast of West African artistry offers. Plus there’s an excellent video on the site — refreshingly, not of the big names but of some awesome indigenous musicians and dancers. Plus a fish puppet. Actually in the river. C’mon. Check it out.
Enjoy — one day, may you go. You would never forget it.
Below is a link to the site, plus a picture of Tall Puppets on a pirogue in the river (this really happens). And a picture of a Dogon village near Segou, a lot like the one we visited. This is a priceless, unbelievably significant place, in which people live in considerable physical hardship on the ever-encroaching Sahara Desert — but in such grace and beauty, even so.
Check out our own video of Dogon country, too, at the “Trips to Africa” button at http://afriqueaya.org