Cinnabons at Macalaster

Informant Description/ Context of performance: Over our spring break, one of my friends told me about a tradition they hold in a music group she’s part of at school. The music group is called AME, which stands for African Music Ensemble. They have concerts a couple times throughout the semester, and after each concert there is an after party filled with various drinking games and traditions. The professor who runs the group is called Sowah.

Original Script:

Interviewee: In Ensemble during our after parties we make Cinnabons… while we are hammered out of our minds. And ALL the people who take singing lessons with Sowah sing a song that has a word in it that sounds like “Cinnabon” and then we feed pieces of the Cinnabons to everyone. But the rule is that you can’t feed yourself, you MUST feed someone else a piece.

Me: Do you know when that tradition started? Or like how it started?

Interviewee: It was started by this person named Natalie like 6 or 7 years ago, and people enjoyed it so we just kept it going. I’m not 100% sure as to like why it started though.

Me: Got it, did she just randomly make it up or was there some reasoning behind it?

Interviewee: Yeah okay so the reason it was Cinnabons was because the song has a word in it that sounds similar to Cinnabon, like if a person who doesn’t know anything about AME or any of the African songs at all and head this song, they’d be like “why are they talking about Cinnabons?” And then at the very end of the song, we go MMMMMMmmmmmm. So it’s like MMmmm its so yummy at the Cinnabons.

Conclusion: One thing I’m always curious about is how these traditions came about. How did someone just decide to set these rules that would soon to go on to become tradition for many years to come? There was no clear answer in this case, but it was interesting to observe a culture like a music group in a small liberal arts school in Minnesota.