THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF THE BAKA FOREST
PEOPLE - WORKSHOPS
The Baka live deep in the rainforest in Africa, relying on the forest
for survival. Theirs is an original and unspoilt culture where co-operation
and sharing is vital and music is central to their lives. With the Baka
there is no distinction between "musician" and "audience";
everyone is able to listen and participate with confidence. We aim to
inspire our workshops with these qualities.
Workshops are lead by Su Hart, a teacher and musician, who spent the
winters of 1992, 1994 & 1998 living with the Baka in the forests of
S.E.Cameroon. For schools the program is built around national curriculum
guidelines and study booklets are available.
- Workshop length : 1 day (half day or weekend sessions
by special arrangement. )
- Group size : up to 300
- Cost : £250 per day plus travel (concessions
Timetable for 1 day workshop
Slide show :
- Includes a talk of first-hand experience of Baka life.
- Explores the context: the hunter gatherer economy, relation to cultivators
and the state, the causes and effects of deforestation; how the Baka
cope with a changing environment.
- Baka myths, stories, religion, rituals,family life, fun and games.
- We explore and memorise Baka rhythm in hand clapping and using percussion,
maintaining parts independently of other groups. Call and respond songs
and chants. "Likano" songs (Baka myths) Children's songs with
group percussion and harmony. Hand clapping action songs.
- Movement : Baka "Bwamba dance", a forest spirit dance to
help the hunt, millipede dance, Baka circle dances.
- Co-operative games : Musical games of the Baka.
- Performance of days discoveries if required.
- Making simple Baka musical instruments is possible in the summer.
You will be asked to provide an extension cable, a tape recorder and
a room which can be blacked out for slides.
Study aids :
of the Baka : study booklet by Martin Cradick and Su Hart (£3)
of the forest : field recordings of the Baka's music.
Royalties are collected for the Baka by One
Heart (charity no. 1057668) and used for projects in the forest
Su Hart, March Hare Music, PO Box 2260, BATH, BA1 5XA, UK.
tel/fax 01225 331636
e-mail : email@example.com
Teachers' recommendations :
"Su recently visited St. Nicholas primary School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
to run her workshop and talk with children and staff about her work in
the rainforest in South East Cameroon. She spent the day with us and had
children and staff enthraled. She knows how to engage children at all
ages and levels of ability. Her work was meticulously planned and the
resources were fascinating. The children not only learned a great deal
but thoroughly enjoyed the process of sharing Su's experiences with them.
I can thoroughly recommend her to schools and she is excellent value for
R.E.Fell, Headteacher (01235 520456)
"The children were captivated and have been singing Baka songs ever
since. Seeing the excellent slides and hearing first hand stories brought
both the Baka and rainforest issues vividly into our midst and has stimulated
follow-on work of very high interest and quality."
N.Bunce, deputy head of St Mary's infants school, Parton, nr Swindon
Further recommendations available from:
Mr M.Tislet, county music advisor for Wiltshire. (01225 713000)
Dr Helene de la Rue, head of musicology and education at the Pitt Rivers
Museum, Oxford. (01865 274721)