cdRoots Home Page
More music from Africa
Search for music
Before you order, please read the FAQ


Various Artists
Gumboot Guitar: Zulu Street Guitar Music From South Africa
(from Topic Records' World Series)

Rootsy guitar from the streets of Durban. In the late 19th century, music previously played on Zulu musical bows was transferred in the new urban environment to the guitar and often concertina and violin too. Musicians often joined miners' gumboot dance teams to accompany this exhilarating genre, which mostly traditionally takes place on the streets of single-sex hostel compounds. These recordings from 1988 and 1996 feature musicians and gumboot players who live in one such hostel outside Durban.

Listen:
Kam and kossetina (comb-guitar and concertina)
Gumboot 1993 (guitar, concertina, gumboot dancers)
Blanket's guitar solo
Ma wenobaba (guitar, vocal, concertina)

From the record label:
Remarkable rootsy guitar from the streets of Durban. Recordings by Janet Topp Fargion & Albert Nene. Text by Janet Topp Fargion.

The guitar probably arrived in South Sfrica with Portuguese or Arab sailors back in the 16th century, but it only started to enter vernacular African traditions in the late 19th century. The discovery of gold and diamonds in South Africa at that time brought large numbers of African workers from all parts of the country - all looking for new forms of expression and relaxation. Music previously played on Zulu musical bows was transferred in the new urban environment to the guitar and often concertina and violin too. the music was called maskanda.

Musicians played for their own enjoyment, but they also joined miners' gumboot dance teams to accompany this exhilarating genre. Often lacking in formal performance areas, most of this music-making traditionally takes place on the streets of single-sex hostel compounds. These recordings from 1988 and 1996 feature musicians and gumboot players who live in one such hostel outside Durban.

Credit card orders are placed on a secure server.

Please note!
Most CDs have been imported from Europe or Asia. They are not all shrink-wrapped, and I am not going to con you by wrapping them here just to make you think they have been sterilized in America. We guarantee that the CDs and the contents are all brand new and in perfect condition. Whenever I can, I use recycled shipping materials. They may not look as pretty on the outside, but they save money and keep the trash dumps a little bit emptier.