The Mauritian Sega (Pronounced Saygah) is the best way to describe the deepest nature of the islanders: lively, colorful and traditional. The Sega is a dance that takes its roots from the ritual music of Madagascar and the mainland Africa. It is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian Way of Life.
Originally sung from slaves coming from Africa during the colonization era of Mauritius Island. Men and women who had been sold as slaves but whose souls had remained sensitive to music, the Sega is intensely emotional and expressed the tribulations of a subjugated, initially enslaved, people. Nowadays more consider as a folksong which has integrated itself within the framework of the Mauritian folklore.
It is a cry from the soul trying to transcend the miseries and heartaches of life or delivering a message of love and peace, while at the same time expressing the universal human desire for joy and happiness. It tells the joys and sorrows of the peasants and the fishing folks. It is a nostalgic heritage of the villagers. Its beats, gripping in intensity, now provide entertainment to Mauritians of all walks of life in towns and villages. Today the Sega and its beat are a part of every Mauritian's life.
Stimulated and inspired by local rum, the fishing folks gather around a camp fire and give full vent to their emotions. Very often they dance without any music at all and are accompanied only by the sound of the Ravane, the tinkling of spoons, the rattling of seeds in a tin, and the clapping of hands of spectators who eventually join in the melee.
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