There are many forms of African dances, some of which are detailed below:
Warrior Dances. One example of a warrior dance is Agbekor. Franci Elkins, a world renowned African dancer, has been quoted as saying that this is her favorite dance. Agbekor comes from the Foh and Ewe people. It is an ancient dance once known as Atamga. Agbekor is often performed at cultural events and at funerals. Dance movements mimic battlefield tactics. This dance consists of phrases of movements. A phrase consists of a "turn" which occurs in every phrase and then a different ending movement. These phrases are added back to back, and make up the dance.

  • Dances of Love are performed on special accessions, such as weddings and anniversaries. One example is the Nmane dance performed in Ghana. It is done by women during weddings in honor of the bride.


  • Rites of Passage and Coming of Age Dances are performed to mark the coming of age of young men and women. They give confidence to the dancers who have to perform in front of everyone. It is then formally acknowledged they are adults. This builds pride, as well as a stronger sense of community.


  • Dances of Welcome are a show of respect and pleasure to visitors, as well as a show of how talented & attractive the host villagers are. Yabara is a West African Dance of Welcome marked by ''The Beaded Net Covered Gourd Rattle’’. It is thrown into the air to different heights by the female dancers to mark tempo and rhythm changes. This is an impressive spectacle, as all the dancers will throw & catch them at the same time.


  • Dances of Possession and Summoning these are common themes, and very important in many Traditional African Religions. They all share one common link: a call to a Spirit. These spirits can be the spirits of Plants or Forests, Ancestors, or Deities. The orishas are the Deities found in many forms of African religion, such as Candomble, Santería, Yoruba mythology, Voodoo, and others. Each orisha has their favourite colours, days, times, foods, drinks, music, and dances. The dances will be used on special occasions to honor the orisha, or to seek help and guidance. The orisha may be angry. Kakilambe is a great spirit of the forest who is summoned using dance. He comes in the form of a giant statue carried from the forest out to the waiting village. There is much dancing and singing. During this time the statue is raised up, growing to a height of around 15". Then the priest communes and asks Kakilambe if they will have good luck over the coming years, and if there are any major events to be aware of, such as drought, war, or other things.


Mbukushu Drum - Botswana

external image Drum%20-%20Mbukushu%20-%20Botswana%20Council%20of%20Churches%20Museum%2001.jpg

Ba Tonga Drums

external image Ba%20Tonka%20Drums%2008.jpg

Makonde Drum mbique - Tanzania
external image Drum%20Makonde%2004.JPG

Thumb Pianos - Lekembe - Mbira

external image Thumb%20Piano%2001.jpg

external image Thumb%20Piano%2003.jpg

Ovimbundu Harp

external image Ovimbundu%20Harp%2001.JPG external image Ovimbundu%20Harp%2002.JPG external image Ovimbundu%20Harp%2003.JPG

Musical Flute Bow

external image Musical%20Umqangala%20Tsonga%2001.JPGexternal image Musical%20Umqangala%20Tsonga%2002.JPGexternal image Musical%20Umqangala%20Tsonga%2005.JPGexternal image Musical%20Umqangala%20Tsonga%2003.JPGexternal image Musical%20Umqangala%20Tsonga%2004.JPGexternal image Musical%20Umqangala%20Tsonga%2006.JPG