This original song by Sana is an excerpt from the video series "How to Play the Akonting with Sana Ndiaye" on the Ships of the Sea Museum website: www.shipsofthesea.org.
The akonting (or ekonting) is one of almost 60 documented plucked spike lutes found in West Africa, and is considered by some musicologists to be (at the least) one of the primary ancestors of the African/American instrument which became the gourd banjo. Despite its simple appearance, the akonking is capable of sophisticated and fascinating musical expression. It is now, however, only rarely played in the Senegambia -- the region of its origin.
Sana Ndiaye was born in the village of Djembering in the southern region of Senegal. He began to play the akonting as a small boy, taught by his grandfather in the traditional manner of the Jola people. Over the years Sana continued to balance his schooling with playing the akonting for community functions and celebrations, and developed many innovations which have expanded the repertoire of the instrument.
Video by Bill Dudley: www.billdudley.com