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kebendo

Konat, Famoudou, and Thomas Ott. 2000. Rhythms and Songs from Guinea. Oldershausen, Germany: Lugert Verlag.

(K Bendo)

pp. 9899

E! K bendo! Hey! You men! (lit. men's association)
Oh laila! Would you believe it!
E! K bendo! Hey! You men!
Oh laila! Would you believe it!
E! K bendo! Hey! You men!
Oh laila! Would you believe it!
E! K bendo! Hey! You men!
Oh laila! Would you believe it!
K bendo! Men!
Oh laila! Would you believe it!
Muso fila ta lu Marry two women
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Muso saba ta lu Marry three women
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Muso nani ta lu Marry four women
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Muso lolu ta lu Marry five women
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Muso wr ta lu Marry six women
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Wo ma nyin! That's not good!
Muso kelen ta lu Marry one woman
Wo ka nyin! That's good!
Wo ka nyin! That's good!
Muso kelen ta lu Marry one woman
Wo ka nyin! That's good!
Wo ka nyin! That's good!
N'nye de kli-i ny? What shall we do for you?
K bendo! Men!
N'nye mun de fli-i ny? What shall we do for you?
K bendo! Men!
N'nye de kli-i ny? What shall we do for you?
K bendo! Men!
N'nye mun de fli-i ny? What shall we do for you?
K bendo! Men!

This song against polygamy was originally sung by women from Kissidugu (region of the Kissi, an ethnic group in the forest region of Guinea) as a warning to their husbands. They asked themselves what more they could do to prevent their husbands from taking several wives.

pp. 1012

This sprechgesang is from the 60's, when women in Guinea first began protesting against polygamy. Islamic and traditional African customs permitted (or under certain circumstances even required) a man to have several wives. Among men for whom it was economically feasible, this was the usual practice throughout West Africa. Sometimes there was a matter of social support involved (e.g., marrying the widow of a relative or friend in order to give her and maybe her children, too, a new family and economic security). Today there is a sharp decline in polygamy.

The dictator Skou Tour tried to encourage the women who at that time rebelled against polygamy. He decreed (with the ulterior motive that the first wife generally would not agree) that the first wife had to give her consent if a man wanted to take a second wife. It was at that time that the K Bendo song became popular.

Camara, Naby. 2010. Balaphone Instruction. Vol. 1. Earthtribe Percussion.

(Kebendu / Kabendu)

Kebendo [sic] is a rhythm and song that adresses the men and warns them not to take more than one wife. It is played at many different celebrations.