February 11, 2015

1453 GUINEA (Faranah) - Kissi woman with a djabara


Kissi people live in Guinea (420,000), Liberia (176,000) and Sierra Leone (125,000), speak a Niger–Congo language, and are well known for making baskets and weaving on vertical looms, although are primarily farmers. In past times they were also famous for their iron working skills, the Kissi smiths producing the famous Kissi penny, an iron money widely used in West and even Central Africa. They live in small, self-governing villages that are tucked inside groves of mango or kola trees. Each village is compact, containing no more than about 150 people. Although they have converted to Christianity, most of them continue to practice their traditional ethnic religion. Ancestor worship or praying to deceased relatives is a common practice among the Kissi.

Music plays a unique role in the Kissi culture. Sometimes, it is used for certain types of communication. The music doesn't necessarily have a melody, but rather a rhythmic sound with much drumming and whistling. One of the traditional musical instruments is djabara (in the postcard), consisting of a dried gourd with beads woven into a net covering the gourd, used only by women. Throughout the West Africa there are similar instruments, such as the shekere (Nigeria), lilolo, axatse (Ghana), ushàkà, and chequere. It is made by drying the gourd for several months then removing the pulp and seeds. In performance it is shaken and/or hit against the hands. In Wassolon region there is also a rhythm of greeting of (high positioned) guests of the village, named djabara. During the french period it was urged to play this rhythm for french gouvernement officials. The woman depicted in the postcard is a singer of The Church of Kissidougou.

About the stamps

The first stamp was issued in 2009 to mark the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Republic of Guinea and People's Republic of China.

The first stamp is part of the series 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, issued on January 20, 2008, which depicts the football team of Guinea (24 stamps with the same face value, 4000 GNF):
• The team - It's on the postcard the postcard 1453
• Daouda Jabi - It's on the postcard 2239
• Ibrahima Bangour - It's on the postcard 2257

Kissi people - Wikipedia
Shekere - Wikipedia

Sender: Madeleine
Sent from Kissidougou (Faranh / Guinea), on 15.12.2014

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