Sega tambour of Rodrigues Island

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Inscribed in 2017 (12.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© National Heritage Fund, Mauritius, 2016

Sega Tambour of Rodrigues Island is a vibrant rhythmic performance of music, song and dance with its origins in slave communities. The leading percussion, the tambour, is banged energetically, while a triyang is hit from the side and the bwat and mayos are clapped. Sega Tambour is performed all over Rodrigues Island in the home and on the streets, at formal and informal functions. The primary bearers are the Rodrigues community, as well as the diaspora on the island of Mauritius and elsewhere, and the art is open to everyone irrespective of age, gender or status. With its origins in defiance and resilience, Sega Tambour facilitates conflict resolution, fosters socialization and consolidates bonds. The government recognizes it as a symbol of the history of the Rodriguan community. Sega Tambour is safeguarded through the efforts of numerous groups that have sprung up since the 1970s and a dedicated NGO now exists. Competitions and rehearsals are organized in community centres, and the element is also performed in tourism facilities, contributing to the generation of revenue for performers. Knowledge and skills relating to the practice are transmitted from elders to youth through imitation and observation, and instrument-making skills are learned through apprenticeship with experienced craftspeople.

Initiating and transmitting tambour making skills to children and youth who are keen to learn from the master tambour maker and player, Mr Louis Saint-Ange Philippe (Thiong) at Mon Plaisir Cultural and Leisure Centre
A national passion, a unifier of gender, all age groups, creed and class; Sega tambour performance organized by Tourism Office every Saturday on the streets, at the center of Port-Mathurin where the public and tourists participate.
The energetic and deep-voiced Mareshal Clecia Clair leading the chorus and hitting the bwat as the other members of this experienced and veteran group respond with enthusiasm
Stafford and Wallis of Kouloudenn group warming the tambour on a bonefire under the appreciative eyes of dancers and performers before and in between the performance at Sainte Famille village.
Stage performance of Sega tambour by Cardinal Blanc group during the workshop held in the context of the preparation of the nomination file at Mon Plaisir Cultural and Leisure Centre Rodrigues
Alpha Omega group exhibiting the 'ants on the leg' phenomenon of Sega tambour; formally dressed dancers show the art of flowing movement and the physical fitness with a natural smile that comes with it a Patate Théophile village
The composer, singer, tambour player and committed transmitter of knowledge to the youth, the Mareshal Jacqueline Allas, demonstrating her exceptional skills in tambour playing; she is a leading proponent of Sega tambour knowledge transmission in Rodrigues
Two young grand children of the well-known Mareshal Lorenza Gaspard of the famous song 'Donn mwa lamin' learning the art of Sega dancing at Lataniers village where transmission to the youth at an early age is a common practice
Bridging the gap: elders and the youth performing together in the group Pigeon Blanc at Pistaches; the young boy is playing mayos as the young girl plays the triyang under the guidance of Christian Prosper and Ah Kong Ste. Marie
Madam Lucrèce Prosper at far-end leading weekly rehearsals by Camaron group founded in 1975 and in casual outfit at Citron Donis, with a woman tambour player; the group has recorded their meetings since 1975, creating valuable archival material