Through internet videos, tracing the African roots of twerk

Man, seems like there's just azz everywhere these days. At "This Is Africa," contributor Cosmic Yoruba has a roundup of videos that show the African roots of the booty-popping dance white folk now call "twerking."

Twerk gyrated further into pop culture focus this week when noted white pop star Miley Cyrus attempted, poorly, to perform it on a televised awards show.

Those who've followed New Orleans Bounce and its "sissy variants" know Miley didn't invent the move--far from it. In Latin America, perreo and dembow have inspired politicians to launch morality crusades. The roots of booty-popping can be traced through the African diaspora. Above, a compilation of music videos that show Mapouka, a contemporary form popular in Cote D'Ivoire that was deemed so provocative, it was banned.

From Cosmic Yoruba's excellent roundup:

Moving beyond the States to other parts of the African diaspora, in Haiti there is gouye/gouyad, in Colombia the El Mapale, in Cuba the vacunao, and most people are familiar with Jamaican winin’. On to Africa itself: in Senegal we have the ventilateur, in Somalia the niiko, kwassa kwassa in DR Congo (which goes by the same name in Zimbabwe), and the Cameroonian zingué. Not to mention malaya of the Afro-Arab communities in Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

TWERK: Booty-dancing, gender politics & white privilege [thisisafrica.me]

Discuss

Continue the discussion at bbs.boingboing.net

67 replies