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.