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Country Zanzibar Genres roots traditional Festival Sauti za Busara 2007
With 10 female and 13 male artists, Kariakoo Sanaa developed out of what used to be the Zanzibar National Ballet Group in 1979. Due to cultural exchange programmes between Zanzibar and Guinea Conakry, the latter sent tutors to help establish the group. Performing a variety of traditional ngoma from around Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, Kariakoo Sanaa is also the mother most groups performing traditional music styles in Zanzibar.
Apart from performing traditional ngoma, they also produce different Swahili plays for stage, radio and TV broadcasting. Most artists in the group have extensive knowledge of different Zanzibar traditional ngoma styles, including more obscure styles like the all women ndege and bomu. They also are proud to feature Mzee Kheri, Zanzibar's leading ngoma drummer, and Asha Khatib, group leader and veteran dancer and many more excellent artists.
Instruments used during their sets include zumari (a traditional wind instrument played by circular breathing), marimba, drums, shakers and ankle bells (njuga). A wide range of costumes are used depending on the style of performance, for example in ndege the women dress in different national dresses (Indian, Arabic, European, Chinese etc) to represent Zanzibar's cosmopolitan history.
Sanaa Kariakoo have toured and performed in many countries including Russia, UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, North and South Korea as well as the Middle East.