Music, dance and drama (MDD) is a vibrant, living, cultural tradition throughout Uganda.
Through these performances – accessorized with colorful clothing, grass skirts, animal skins and even masks – the people tell their stories; of courtship and romance, village ancestors and spiritual beliefs, traditional healers and joyful celebration.
The songs and dances are accompanied by traditional music. Hide drums beat complex rhythms; wooden xylophones – ndaras – are played by up to four musicians at a time; hand carved flutes – envamulres – carry the tune; and stringed adungus of all sizes create haunting harmonies. You will be tapping the catchy rhythms long after your visit!
The dances are performed by men and women, old and young – and even the less able are encouraged to join in with the aid of wooden puppets! Each region has its own style of music and dance – from the rhythmic shuffles of the Batoro in the Rwenzoris to the incredible leaps of the Bakiga people of the South West – there’s always more to discover.
As well as being a hugely enjoyable treat for visitors, these performances have a more practical side, as groups of performers travel through the villages to spread anti-poaching messages through music and dance, and to educate on conservation, maternal health and the prevention of HIV with lively dramas, designed to spread important messages in a fun and captivating way.
Observing a cultural performance will be a thrilling and enlightening experience for any visitor to Uganda – and you will also be supporting families, villages and education of the people that need it the most.