The following history is told by my friend I met on vacation this year from Mauritius Island:
“One of the biggest pieces of folklore in Mauririus is the art of dance! Everyone dances in Mauritius, it’s our way of life! Traditionally the people of Mauritius dance to Sega music which is music sung in our native language of Creole and play traditional instruments such as the ravanne, triangle, calebasse, and the maravanne. The ravanne is a percussion instrument that is made from a wooden hoop and a piece of goat skin stretched over the top. The triangle is the same as the triangles we use in the United States and makes the same sound. It’s a triangle shaped piece of metal. The calebasse is a string instrument much like a guitar and the maravanne is a wooden box containing sand and seeds. We use these instruments and the songs of our people in our language to create beautiful music the whole island dances to. Originally the Sega was sung by slaves, but since then we have preserved our culture and turned it into a musical celebration used to tell stories. We use Sega dance to express our desire for joy and happiness while at the same time expressing the heartaches our people have experienced overtime. I especially love Sega dancing because of the traditional costumes we wear. The women wear long colorful skirts and the men wear open-neck shirts. It’s truly a wonderful sight!”
Analysis: Dance is an extremely important part of Mauritius Island culture and no traditional Mauritian celebration would be complete without Sega music. The songs tell the deep history of the people and they dance to express themselves in present day life. The dancing is African style with lots of movement in the hips. This is an interesting piece of folklore because I love dance and believe music and dance is one of the purest ways a person can express themselves. More information about Sega music and dancing can be found on the Republic of Mauritius’ government website proving how vital this piece of folklore is to the entire culture of the island.