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Discussion: Our beloved song Sega
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Vieux 03/05/2005, 10h11
Lewis Nadal Lewis Nadal est déconnecté
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Date d'inscription: mai 2004
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Our beloved song Sega


The original Sega comprises three inseparable elements: music, dance and the Creole language. Three basic instruments are used to produce Sega: the ravane (a goatskin-covered drum with a diameter of 70-80cm), the maravane (pebble-filled metal can) and the triangle (which is also made from metal and is hit from three sides with a metal rod).

Today, the Sega – originally the song and dance of the slaves on Mauritius – remains an essential part of the cultural identity of the Creole population. Like the Creole language, the Sega also unites Mauritius’ different cultures.

The traditional Sega – a musical reflection of the independent development of the Creole culture on Mauritius. With its typical instruments, this form of music is unknown to any other African country, which is why it is presumed that the Sega developed from various musical traditions during the time of slavery.

The original Sega with its poetic texts generally relates man’s daily worries and desires, and tells of love, suffering and passion. Earlier, the traditional Sega’s rhythm was characterised by the instrument known as the bobre: however, these days, this instrument has become almost obsolete.

The bobre comprises a metal string stretched across a wooden bow, onto which a hollow kalbas is attached for use as a soundbox. The string is hit with a wooden stick: this is how the original rhythm was produced.

The other instruments – which are still in use today – are the ravanne, a large, flat drum; the triangle and the maravane, a flat can filled with lentils, beans or la grain fler flanboyan shaken to the rhythm.

During the dance, hip-swaying men and women woo each other to Sega’s exotic sounds. The women wear wide, colourful skirts and halter tops. The men wear knee-length, tight trousers with a baggy, long-sleeved shirt. None of the dancers wear shoes. Almost all the hotels on Mauritius host regular Sega evenings, some of which are held against the romantic backdrop of a bonfire on the beach. Recently, modern Sega dance performances have become a frequent feature in the hotels: these modern performances can be very different from the original.

Ti Frère, who died in 1992, is still honoured as one of the last great Sega singers. His poetic texts about life as it once was continue to enchant his listeners, enabling a glimpse into the past. Ti Frère was one of the last musicians to maintain for future generations traditional Sega in the form of the original instruments.

Today, contemporary Sega is given a boost by the use of electronically-amplified musical instruments such as the guitar, drums and keyboard. The texts are concerned with topical subjects such as the protection of the environment, class differences or international understanding, for example, and man’s hopes. Lately, musicians such as Natty Rebels and Racine Tatane have been mixing Sega and reggae. The result? A new style of music entitled Seggae currently enjoying immense popularity.
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