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Most Popular Kamba Traditional Dances

The Kamba tribe has a fascinating culture—their dances are enough proof.

If you have attended a Kamba event, such as a wedding, you already know how spectacular their performances can be.

Like most Kenyan tribes, the Kamba people have songs for different occasions ranging from traditional weddings, circumcision, religion, work, etc. 

Some dances require the performers to wear unique attires and ornaments and use instruments like mbeni, ngutha, and kyaa.

These dances would unite and still unite the Kamba people on various occasions.

It is also crucial to note that some dances involve different age groups, but others are performed by young and old, male and female.

Below is a list highlighting the most popular Kamba dances:

1.   Kilumi Dance

This dance involves beating several dreams in the event of a calamity in the Kamba community.

For example, a prolonged drought can prompt the Kilumi dance, where older men and women partake to beseech the spiritual realm to bring rain.

The dance is scheduled for the evenings after meals and involves slaughtering a goat and a cow. 

The dance continues until one of the dancers becomes possessed, a sign that the gods have communicated the solution to the prevailing problem.

Additionally, the Kilumi dance was performed after burials to cleanse bereaved families without instruments or body movements.

2.   Mbeni Dance

Young and unmarried people participated in this dance among the Kamba.

They danced in pairs, and upon nearing the end, the male dancer jumped like a Maasai and did somersaults.

It was a vigorous dance that lasted a few minutes because it was tiring.

The set of instruments used in Mbeni dance included drums and whistles.

The dance was not monitored by the elderly as it was an avenue for the young people to mingle and find suitors.

3.   Kisanga Dance

This traditional dance welcomes people of all ages to participate because it is a celebratory dance.

The dance takes place after a good harvest during the blood of a white slaughtered goat is poured under the Kitutu tree.

4.    Ngutha/Mbalya Dance

This dance involves the young people who come together at the end of the day to have a good time after completing the day’s chores, such as cooking, fetching water, or herding. 

5.   Kamandiko Dance

Kamandiko is a Kamba dance that follows a wedding party.

It is more of a modern dance but also qualifies as a traditional dance. 

6.   Nduli Dance

This was a teenage dance in which boys about to undergo the cut would participate.

Any boy attending the dance was to undergo circumcision.

They would dance in pairs, and during the dance, they would pick partners for life.

Among the instruments used to dance were drums and three whistles.

7.   Mwali Dance

This dance accompanied a song that criticized unwelcome behavior in the Kamba society. 

Bottom Line

If you have clicked the YouTube links for the highlighted dances, you agree that Kamba has always been a dancing tribe.

Besides the above dances, the Kamba had songs for other events, such as herding, hunting, and land tilling. 

You may also want to check: 10 Traditional Kenyan Dances That Showcase Kenya’s Rich Culture

Kenyalogue Contributor


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