Shakara! To flaunt or show-off. When the blues give me rest, and I am left to my own devices, this is what I do. I dance. The term shakara is of Yoruba origin and its meaning and syllabic rhythm conjures a cacophony of celebratory sound and frenzied movement all on display in Fela Kuti’s vocal masterpiece of the same name heard here. Did you take a listen? The pulsating notes birth pure, unadulterated pleasure and nothing less. You are meant to stand on your feet, arms flying wild and hips loose, ready to sway, gyrate, and swing from left to right, forwards and backwards, and then all around again.
The women dance freely among themselves – in the absence of men – catching their skirts in elegant fists. They call to each other by their childhood names and dare one another to call upon the gods for prosperity, beauty, love and freedom. In my mind’s eye, their movements are effortless. Each of their spirits, brazenly proud and all-consuming. They show-off to each other and the young boys hidden in the brush gazing on this ritual dance. The young boys – soon to be men – are shy to admit their wonder to each other. In secret, they withhold their confusion and sudden want to capture wild birds in flight. Some rhythms are not meant to be understood, only experienced. Shakara.
And Good Morning.
Image Source: Unknown. Derivative shown. Original in blog background.