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Home>Explore Mauritius>Culture>Folklore and Music

Folklore and Music

Mauritius is blessed with the sounds and rhythms of the western, eastern and African civilisation which have come across its history. This legacy has been preserved and passed on unscattered through generations. On the other hand, some have meld together to yield unique sounds and rhythms.
 
The most typical folkloric dance of Mauritius is the "Sega" of African origin. This dance is pulsated by the beat of the ravane, a circular drum, and other rhythmic instruments like the maravane and triangle. Danced and sung by the slaves, the Sega has been adopted by all Mauritians and is played on all occasions. More recently, a new sound, a mixture of the Sega and Reggae music, has found its way in our musical culture. This fusion music called the Seggae, is a melodious and entertaining new rhythm that reflects the mixed aspect of Mauritius, emerged in the 80's. Originally the music of the Rastafaris and the poor suburbs of Port Louis, it has found its way to the nightclubs and the mainstream of Mauritian local music.
 
There are also traditional music and dances that have been introduced by the Indian and Chinese migrants coming to Mauritius. Few things compare to the refines and elegance of the Indian dances. Dressed in colourful sarees, the dancers execute precise choreographies with each posture and attitude expressing its own meaning. They are accompanied by the exquisite sound of the sitar and tabla expressing the finest (refined) and magic behind the oriental culture. There are also the very colourful Chinese traditional dance with the ancestral lions and Dragon dances being the best known. The sight of these mystical creatures brought to life by the precision and agility of the dancers is a must to be seen.
 
Western music is also well represented in the Mauritian culture. This includes the mainstream music amid rap, hip-hop, rock, Jazz band and other more traditional music like the waltz as well as all types of ballroom dancing. There is also a strong following for the 60's to 70's oldies, with the likes of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Englelberd Emperding being part of the national musical heritage.