Saturday, 18 February 2017

Mali - lesser known Hunters Music

In the same show, as from where I catched the previous tracks by lesser known Orchestras from Mali, was a block of Hunters Music from Mali.
Toumani Koné Group, 1986 (© Malick Sidibé) - source

 INFO about the HUNTERS (or DONSO)

source: mali-music (through
Throughout all of Mali the Hunters ("donso") have a status of their own. Their Brotherhood is placed above any ethnic, religious or caste-oriented rifts. It is the oldest traditional institution in Mali. The music is generally reduced to two instruments, the Karignan (a piece of iron that is scraped) and the N'goni Donso ("hunter's n'goni" with three strings) which accompanies the songs with the insistent repetition of its three notes. A flute can be added to these instruments. The songs function is primarily to reassure and encourage the members of the expedition during those long evenings spent in the bush, without the slightest shelter or protection.

Listen to Yoro Sidibe (track from VA-Mali Lolo)


11.Toumani Kone - Sojoko Finkele (from K7 Vol.2, red cover) - full K7 at wrldsrv
12.Seydou Traore et Ensemble, Toba Seydou - Ntalan (from K7 Marasa 1)
13.Yoro Sidibe - Nema Yiridon (from K7 Yoro Sidibe Vol.2)
14.Mamadou Sangare - Goni Somangonifo (from K7 Mamadou Sangare Vol.2)

source: WFMU Gateway to Joy with Donna - 2012 September 29 - Strictly Malian

Info about the Hunters presented here:

Toumani Koné aka."the Lion of Wassoulou"
Seydou Traore et Ensemble, Toba Seydou
  • Toba Seydou is nickname of Seydou Traore
  • info and one album from hardwax:
    (Toba) Seydou Traore was born in the early 1960s near Bougouni in Mali, where as a young child he heard the music of hunters. Seydou’s ensuing fascination led to much family conflict, but he persisted, later becoming an apprentice of renowned musician Yoro Sidibe.
    In this context the word protégés apprentice is not inaccurate; not everyone can decide to become a donso, and the gift is said to be passed down from strong women to strong sons; it is equally a gift to be able to recognize which young boys have what it takes to brave both the bush and the strings of the donso ngoni. Young men are apprenticed to the great elder musicians and earn their place in the hierarchical society of the donsos.
    Seydou eventually became a master in his own right, consistently satisfying listeners across Mali with his strong voice and truly comic sensibility.
  • album "Toba Seydou Traore" (#YY.006)* is out of stock at hardwax (see above), but seems available at dragcity
  • Marasa 1 (no info found) only for Marasa 2 (not including the posted track)
  • other albums available at iTunes: Marasa 2 / Doni Doni / Danfaga Sambou
Yoro Sidibe
  • biography at mali-music (through
  • Vol.2 (no info found), but Vol.3 posted at wrldsrv
  • biography fromt iTunes:
    A respected musician for some 30 years, practicing ritualistic tribal music that dates back to the 14th century, Yoro Sidibe is a donso ngonifola (hunter's musician) from the Wasulu village of Babbala, in the southwestern Malian hinterlands. Typically, donsos play to get the hunters riled before they leave for a hunt. Dressed in floppy hats and mudcloths with muskets draped on their shoulders, the hunters take to their bicycles in search for animals while Sidibe sings, chants, and strums in an intense trance. Over the years, as well as performing and teaching students, he released several dozen cassettes that were sold by street vendors in the village. Costing less than an American dollar, one of these boombox recordings caught the ear of field recorder Jack Carneal while he was visiting Africa with the hopes of tracking down indigenous musicians. After some convincing, he secured the rights to issue some of Sidibe's recordings on CD for the nonprofit label Yaala Yaala Records. In early 2008, the label paired with Drag City to release Yoro Sidibe's self-titled album. --Jason Lymangrover
    available at iTunes: Yoro Sidibe*
  • album also at dragcity: Yoro Sidibe (2008, #YY.005)*
Mamadou Sangare (?or Madou Sangare?)
  • no info found, but some videos with hunters music by Madou Sangare, so it could very well be him, if anybody knows more please comment

Note: *for Yaala Yaala Recordings, see comments to this post by Ngoni

Video to watch (when downloading):

Yoro Sidibe - source: flickr from Cris Ubermann


  1. Of course I do not recommend any Yaala Yaala Records label, the technicians who edited the tapes to prepare the records, had no idea what the sound should look like,and they edit all with an unbearable hyper-bass result.
    Toba Seydou is the nickname of Seydou, there should be a comma after ensemble; Seydou Traore et Ensemble, Toba Seydou.
    Attention to the comments in the post of ytb - Toumani Koné vol.1 by Radio Africa, Simbon writes the real titles of the album.

    1. Thanks for the info NGONI!
      Do you know anything about Mamadou or Madou Sangare?

  2. I have not yet been able to recognize the voice, but it is possible that Mamadou is Madou, Madou Sangaré is a well-known sorcerer, and the song 'Goni Somangonifo', Soma = Substances or magical powers + goninfo, n'goni player.

  3. Thanks for this compilation; to the generation of Toumani Koné you can add: Seydou Camara, Balla Guimba Diakite, (= Bala (Balla) Jinba Jakite), who died 2012, Sadie Diakité, Batomo Sanogo from Segou, and others.

    Please be aware that this generation is different that Seydou Traore or Yoro Sidibe.

    Talking about Toumani Koné, and this “Vol 1“:

    I respect much the work of Graeme (from Radio Africa) while I think that the statement of Vol 1 is misleading in the context of the SS. vol. 2, (= “red cover“ )

    Not on that tape nor the cover, with the Kaaba-Mecca-picture, there is no evidence of Vol 1. I have a copy of that tape physically.

    Meanwhile, I have a Vol.1, from the same SS (Super sound) label as the mentioned Vol 2, with the “red cover“ . The Vol 1 with the Kaaba-Mecca-picture is from another label.

    One of the most profound sources of Malian donsoya is the book from Youssouf Tata Cissé, who died
    2013: „La confrere des chasseurs Malinké et Bambara“

    1. We can not really guarantee that any of these tapes are original, those of Super Sound edited in Liberia, it does not seem that they have the titles in correct Bamana, the titles in the Kaaba-Mecca K7 are still more harmful, each "Producer" makes its volumes according to the songs he owns and titled them as he can...
      Five or six years ago a friend left me a K7 of Toumani Koné, it had no box and was very used, but had to have written down in the support Vol.1,because that's how I saved my rip, the audio corresponds to the one that used Radio Africa on youtube, even has that same fading, a minute and a half before the end, only mine does not end abruptly.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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