NYABINGHI, also NYAHBINGHI, NIYABINGHI, NIYAHBINGHI, is the gathering of Rastas, known as Rastafarians to celebrate and commemorate key dates significant to Rastafari throughout the year. It is essentially an opportunity for Rastas to congregate and engage in praise and worship. For example, on July 23rd of each year, a Nyabinghi is held to celebrate the birth of His Majesty, Emperor Haille Selassi I. So how is this done? During a Nyabinghi celebration men and women have different roles and expectations. Men are expected to remove their tams (Rasta hats) whilst women must keep their hair covered. A group of men typically organise themselves in a line or semi-circle and are assigned to beat the drums throughout. The remaining congregation continue to sing well known songs or 'chants', some of which are edited hymns that reflect the traditions of Rastafari. For example, 'I have a little light in I and I'm going to make it shine, Rastafariiii, shine' and 'Holy Mount Zion is a holy place and no sinners can enter there, so let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, of Rastafari'. Nyabinghi is a Rasta tradition that promotes Rasta unity, strengthens the Rasta spirit with fellowship and raises the conciousnes and presence of Rastafafari in the heart of those in attendance. At some points passages of the bible are read. Rasta recognise the significance of Jesus Christ, but as a prophet.
* 1 Nyabinghi music
* 1.1 Drums * 1.2 Chants
* 2 See also * 3 References * 4 Further reading * 5 External links
The Niyabinghi resistance inspired a number of Jamaican Rastafarians , who incorporated what are known as NIYABINGHI CHANTS (also BINGHI) into their celebrations ("groundations "). The rhythms of these chants were eventually an influence of popular ska , rocksteady and reggae music. It is the traditional music of the Rastafarian practice and it is used during "reasoning" sessions and consists of chanting and drumming to reach states of heightened spirituality. Nyabingi music consists of a blend of 19th century gospel music and African drumming.
Niyabinghi drumming is not exclusive to the Niyabinghi order, and is common to all Rastafarians. Its rhythms are the basis of Reggae music, through the influential ska band, the Skatalites . It is said that their drummer revolutionized Jamaican music by combining the various Niyabinghi parts into a 'complete' "drum kit," which combined with jazz to create an entirely new form of music, known as ska . Niyabinghi rhythms were largely a creation of Count Ossie, who incorporated influences from traditional Jamaican Kumina drumming (especially the form of the drums themselves) with songs and rhythms learned from the recordings of Nigerian musician Babatunde Olatunji .
Though Niyabinghi music operates as a form of Rasta religious music
outside of Reggae, musicians such as
Bob Marley and even non-Rastas
such Prince Buster (Muslim) and
Combining Jamaican traditions with newly acquired African ones, Count Ossie and others synthesized his country's African traditions and reinvigorated them with the influences of Nigerian master-drummer Babatunde Olatunji , as a comparison of Count Ossie's Tales of Mozambique and Olatunji's earlier Drums of Passion will reveal. Indeed, it is that combination of inherited traditions and conscious rediscovery of lost African traditions that makes Niyabinghi drumming—and Rasta —so powerful.
Three kinds of drums (called "harps") are used in niyabinghi: bass ,
also known as the "Pope Smasher" or "Vatican Basher", reflecting a
Rasta association between Catholicism and
There are membranophones played at a groundation ceremony in rasta culture. Nyabinghi music is played in 4/4 time on three drums :
* Thunder: It is a double-headed bass drum, played with a mallet . The strokes are an open tone on 1 and a dampened stroke on 3. Occasionally, the thunder player will syncopate the rhythm. * Funde: The funde is the middle drum. It maintains the dominant heartbeat rhythm as the funde player makes steady, dampened strokes on 1 and 3. it is thus dually known as the heartbeat and has the least improvisational role. * Repeater: The repeater or kete, is the smallest and highest pitched drum. It is somewhat of a single elongated bongo. The drummer tends to play around 2 and 4, with a syncopated, rather than a backbeat feel. These beats are important to the overall feel of the Nyahbingi rhythm, but the repeater has a very improvisational role in bingi because it is seen as the carrier of spirit. * Shaka: The shekere , which is commonly found throughout Africa, the Caribbean Latin America, has a place in Nyahbingi. The shekere player has a somewhat flexible role: He/she has been known to play on “1”, “1&”, “1” and “3” or “1&”…“3 and there is the possibility that it is a more calculated allusion to the Zulu word for fire, shaka.
Main article: Niyabinghi chants
Niyabinghi chanting typically includes recitation of the
but may also include variations of well-known
Nyabinghi chants include:
"Every time I chant Nyahbingi"
" Psalms 137" aka "Down By The Rivers Of Babylon"
* "400 Million Blackman"
* "400 Years" (its lyrics influenced
* Music portal
* ^ A B Katz, David (2003). Reggae Bloodlines: In Search of the Music and Culture of Jamaica. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80496-4 . Cite error: Invalid tag; name "jhbradley7" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page ). * ^ Bradley, John H. (June 2009). "House of Judah Nyabinghi Rastafarian Grounation in Khayalethu South Township, South Africa". Cape Town to Cairo Website. CapeTowntoCairo.com. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
* Hopkins, Elizabeth. “The Nyabingi Cult of Southwestern Uganda.” Protest and Power in Black Africa. Ed. Robert I. Rotberg and Ali A. Mazrui. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. 258-336. * Kiyaga-Mulindwa, D. “Nyabingi Cult and Resistance.” Encyclopedia of African History. Ed. Kevin Shillington. 3 vols. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2005.
* Historia *