Rwandan Dance and Music has a style unique to Rwanda
Rwanda – Home of some of The Best Cultural Dances and Music in Africa-Not to be missed
Rwanda – Home of some of The Best Cultural Dances and Music in Africa -Do not leave Rwanda without seeing the Traditional Dances and Musical Performances such as the famous Intore Dance – you will not see dances performed such as the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda.
This is the Rwanda that is beyond Mountain Gorillas, it is the Rwanda of the ancient Intore Dance and Music that you while visiting Rwanda do not want to miss.
Music and Dance is a long-established and integral part of Rwandan Life and Culture and is part of every festival, a celebration such as Birth, naming of children, marriage, Birthdays and Anniversaries and any other occasion imaginable such as family gatherings. Rwanda’s Culture and People thrive off of Music and Dance that move the soul.
During the late afternoon and early evenings families and friends often gather drinking traditional beer and share a meal while telling stories about their day and week and there is always music and dance for all the enjoy.
There is no celebratory occasion in Rwanda where one finds no music and dance to liven up the celebration, whatever it may be and that is especially true if there are visitors in the gathering.
Today as Tourism has greatly increased the number visitors to Rwanda, most Lodges often have traditional Dance and Musical performances in the late afternoons or early evenings to the delight of the guests. Traditional Rwandan Dancers are accompanied by an orchestra of five to seven members producing a harmonious, yet the explosive sound that grabs your soul, no matter what your background is.
Rwanda – Home of some of The Best Cultural Dances and Music in Africa – Different Dances and Musical Instrument:
Intore Dance of Warriors:
The word Intore translated from Kinyarwanda into English means Chosen Ones – Leaders.
The Male Dancers were selected based on their physical and moral qualities since Intore is more than a dance and the learning of dance steps, but Intore Dancers were educated in the ways of everyday royal court behavior and how to conduct themselves among Royalty and mainly King – the Mwami of Rwanda.
They gave inspiration through their dance as there was preparation for the hunt or even for battle as they danced the dance of Heroes.
All three Rwandan People Groups (Hutu – Tutsi – Batwa) were involved in the dance as they were all involved in the Hunt or battle through the Twa People would perform their own dance led by a Tutsi.
The Intore Dancers through Music – Dance – Shouts based on strength gave inspiration, inner confidence as they faced the enemy, went on a hunt watching the Dance of Heroes.
Dances were also performed after a successful hunt or battle as they celebrated the victory in the court of the King.
The dancers were accompanied by drummers – the number 13 was the symbol of Royal Power. Traditionally men were drummers – today you an also find women drummers performing. In the days of old, the drums announced the presence of the Mwami – the King – the drums were also a way that the King communicated with his people. To be a Royal Drummer meant a position of high status in the King’s Court.
Today Intore Dances Dancers are most often accompanied by a drum orchestra made up of about seven to nine members whose drumming provide a harmonious and yet powerful melody of intertwining rhythms. You will also find while drummers and dancers perform the audience will clap their hands – something that gives added rhythm and even encourages dancers to outdo their last performance.
Umushagiriro/Umushayayo Dance of Women:
The Dance of Women is more gentle and graceful and unusual in Africa. Its strength is the Graceful movement of Rwandan women highlight kindness, goodness, purity and the radiant beauty of what many consider Africa’s most beautiful women – even though as often is the case the Women’s Dance is based upon the movement of Ankole Cattle
The female’s dance is usually compared to ballet. It is meant to display the grace as well as the beauty of the women of Rwanda as they emulate the movements of cows and wildlife though you would never know that as you watch the graceful, artistic movements of the Women Dancers.
In Rwandan Traditional – Cultural Dance Men dance and portray Courage, Strength, and Confidence while Women through Dancing so forth, love, care, nurture and their graceful feminine strength.
Ukurambagiza – Dance of Courtship:
The Dance of courtship where men and women dance together – it is also called the Dance of Fiances and in Kinyarwanda Ukurambagiza. In this unmarried women participate in the dance of courtship until they are married allowing their beauty to be accented by movement and dance. The rituals of birds and wildlife are emulated such as the mating dance of the Gray Crested Cranes. It is a most gracious dance to view.
Umuganura Harvest Festival:
The Belgian Colonial Authorities banned the Harvest Festival in 1925 because they feared that the King would gain too much power since it was the second most important even in the kingdom after the coronation of a new king.
In recent times the Rwandan Government has reinstated the Harvest Festival with many more things added than in times past. The harvest festival had been part of traditional Rwandan Culture for centuries where people gathered to celebrate share the first fruits of the harvest, this was accompanied the music, dance, telling of stories and local brew.
The women dancers dressed in festive gowns to perform dances of thanksgiving and honor the Traditional Deity that had blessed them with a bountiful harvest and a time to bring and bless seeds for the new harvest to come.
Musical Instruments used:
Music – Vocal Performances and Dance were often accompanied by various Rwandan instruments like such as the Ingoma Drum made from a special tree and covered with cowhide. The Inaganga – which is a guitar-like instrument with 9 to 12 strings and come in plain or highly ornate wood. from Umyungu wood. The Umuduli is a single string, almost bow-like instrument and then there is the Rwandan Horn called the Amakondera.
Rwandan Traditional Dances are not to be missed – you are missing out on one of the parts of Uganda – its culture and its people – let us make sure as we prepare your safari itinerary that Rwandan Dance and Music are a part of it. Enjoy Rwanda – its millions of Smiles and the many traditional Dance and Music Performances…
Rwanda – Home of some of The Best Cultural Dances and Music in Africa – not to be missed – if you like to include different performance while on Safari with us in Rwanda – Let us know.