Breaking

Amakondere Dance at Verge of Extinction

He says some of the trumpeters haven’t gone through training, which is a prerequisite. According to Kajura, failure by the Kingdom to motivate the trumpeters explains why they have lost interest in the dance.
The Abakondere

Audio 2

The Amakondere dance, which is meant to entertain the Kings of Tooro and Bunyoro Kingdoms, is at the verge of extinction. The dance can also be performed in the absence of the King with permission. A horn-shaped wooden trumpet is the main instrument used for Amakondere. 

 

The cylinder like trumpets, are built in different shapes and sizes, which are played alongside drums local known as empango. The Amakondere involves dancing in twos, side by side. The dancers alternately lift one foot in forward motion. Amakondere is associated with jubilation. Dancing to the Amakondere is locally known as Okuguruka Amakondere.

To produce melody from the trumpets, the Abakondere (trumpeters) draw breath from the depth of their lungs and press their lips hard on the wood. Their costumes consist of bark-cloth fastened over the right hand shoulder. However, this dance that is revered in the Kingdom is at the verge of extinction because of lack of experienced trumpeters.

Experienced trumpeters have either died or retired due to old age and have never been replaced. The number of trumpeters is also inadequate. They are supposed to be more than twenty; however the number has dropped to less than ten.  The trumpeters also look shabby because of lack proper costumes. 69-year-old Francis Kajura, who has been a trumpeter for more than 10 years says that the current crop of trumpeters is inexperienced, which explains why the melody produced is not good.

 

He says some of the trumpeters haven’t gone through training, which is a prerequisite. According to Kajura, failure by the Kingdom to motivate the trumpeters explains why they have lost interest in the dance. Kajura says that in the past, the King used to give the trumpeters presents like cattle and pieces of land to motivate them because blowing the Amakondere is strenuous.

//Cue in: “by then the King…

Cue out: “…to be recognized.”//

Benjamin Busobozi, a trumpeter says that whenever there are kingdom functions like the King’s birthday and coronation anniversary they are never facilitated. He says that sometimes they perform without a meal and also meet their own transport costs.  Rev. Richard Baguma, Tooro Kingdom regent says Amankondere dance is a sign of respect that is deeply rooted in the Bunyoro-Toro way of life insisting that there is need to safe guard it.

Baguma blames the Babito clan for neglecting the dance. He says he feels embarrassed when the King is visiting some parts of the Kingdom and there are no trumpeters to welcome or entertain him and his guests. He says some of the trumpeters who perform at functions like the coronation anniversary are inexperienced and should be trained adequately.

Charles Kamuarsi, the head of the Babiito clan in Toro Kingdom admits that the dance isn’t popular as it was in the past. Kamurasi, says the Kingdom is doing all it can to revive the dance to its former glory. He says they will provide special budget for the trumpeters in the next year. The

Images 2

Keywords