Sega is a music born from the suffering of people who were once uprooted from their ancestral lands. This music, which is also a dance, tells our story.
The origin of Sega
It is said that a long time ago, our ancestors, the slaves, mostly from Africa and Madagascar, created, the sega, this form of music and songs, so that they do not to forget their land. It is good to know that the term “sega” refers to several musical practices, sung and danced in the Indian Ocean (Reunion Island, Mauritius, Rodrigue Island, Seychelles, Chagos, Agalega). I remember that story my father used to tell me. It is the story of these slaves singing loudly, on a beach, around a campfire, in Black River, in the west of the island. They firmly believed that, they would be heard from Africa. Isn’t that a sad story?
But the sega is much more than that. It’s a whole culture. It is sung in the Creole language. Everything has, finally, a sense. Because the Creole was created so that the masters could communicate with their slaves. What a better way to express pain, sadness and helplessness.
After the abolition of slavery in 1835, the sega continued to be perpetuated by oral tradition among the descendants of slaves. It was not until the second half of the twentieth century that some representatives of the sega of Mauritius were known by the entire population and today, the sega is among the most popular music in Mauritius . At the crossroads of a traditional family practice and several industries (music, tourism), the sega has declined since the mid-twentieth century into different categories (“sega tipik”, “sega salon”, “sega hotel”, “sega modern, etc.) in which we often find the same artist.
The sega, the dance
Sega is also a dance. Not as easy as it seems, because you have to know how to move your body in a very sensual and rhythmic way. The dance is the rhythmic swing of the hip to the sound of the “Ravane”. The sega begins with a gentle swing, on a slow rythm. Little by little, the music rises gradually, leading the dancers in a trance state. The dancers swing with animated movements to keep pace with the tempo that keeps growing. Your body reacts to the rhythm. You are transported. You will find that the dance is practiced with two because it is a love declaration. However, although the dance is sensual, the partners never touch each other. Everything is in the suggestion. Lovers look for each other, brush against each other and separate.
Sega and its musical instruments
The Maravane, consists of aligned sugar canes and has a rectangular shape. It is a kind of box containing pebbles or metal balls. The musician shakes the instrument at the desired rhythm to accompany the singer and the other instruments. The Ravane, the centerpiece of Sega, is a drum carved from Chinese wood. It is covered with a stretched goat skin.The Bobre, consisting of a piece of wood stretched by two ropes and connected to a calabash. This instrument is hardly used today in the sega. The triangle is also very important to give rhythm. However, nowadays, these instruments are less used. Now, the musicians use more modern and electric instruments. In other words, the sega has changed. It is becoming more commercial and much less engaged.
Now, you know a little more about our music. It sticks to the body, is intense and is unique. Feel free to try it when you come to our island. And do not hesitate to contact us if you want us to create your perfect trip.
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