Sierra Leone


Performed mainly using “masks” is an African dance form known as Djole. This style of dancing referred to as “Jole or Yole” has originated from Sierra Lone in West Africa, and belongs to a tribal community known as “Temine”.  In addition, the music for this dance is produced by a traditional African percussion instrument (i.e. a type of drum) called “Sikko”. Although, the masks used in this dance basically represent females it is usually worn by males. Furthermore, it is usually performed during auspicious events such as marriages or religious festivals such as Ramadan.

a. History/origin of Djole:

 The historical background about the origin of this dance style is relatively unknown.

b. Costumes used in the Djole:

 The costumes worn by the performers (mainly female) include a long colourful dress. In addition, the musicians i.e. drummers (mainly male) involved in this dance form basically make use of masks. Hence this dance style is also commonly referred to as “mask dance”.

c. Music involved in the Djole:

The musical instrument involved in this dance form is a traditional African percussion instrument i.e. a type of drum called “Sikko”. Furthermore, the music is accompanied by a song that possesses the following lyrics:

“Laila i ko korobé, korobé, korobé, mami watoné, aya, sico leleleko aya

sico la i ko na, sico la i ko, wa wango sico la i ko, wa wango sico la i ko”

In addition, these days a new rhythm has been set for this dance using a percussion instrument called “Djembe” which can be referred to as a “goblet drum”.

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Djole:

  In terms of technique, this dance form involves the use of rapid hand and body movements. Furthermore, hands are used extensively by the dancers while performing this dance. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the globe since this “tribal” dance is mainly performed by a community called “Temine” in Sierra Lone.

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