Burnside Album Details

Timbila ta Venancio a.o., Música Chope de Moçambique

The Chopi people live in the south-east of Mozambique in the province Inhambane. It is a fertile area, but during the civil wars many people fled to this relatively safe area. As a result there is a serious lack of woods these day. The Chopi are a small ethnic minority. They have got their own culture and language (bantu) and their own music. The timbila orchestras in particular are unique, orchestras with 15 timbila players and the same amount of dancers. The first descriptions date as far back as 1560. Civil wars and colonization have virtually erased this kind of music. Only one band is still firmly based in the original tradition. In the old time the musicians were employed by a local chief. This social structure has changed, as the government has taken over the power of the local lords. Therefore there is no work anymore for the musicians.