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Title: Mauritian sega music and dance rhythm and creolisation in the Indian Ocean
Author: Thannoo, Babita
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the Mauritian music and dance form known as sega and its performance of embodied creolisation through rhythm. It argues that sega's Afro-diasporic form encodes a performative history of sacred African presence in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean. This history can be traced to an Indo-oceanic maritime history of contact, trade and settlement that incorporated Mauritius within a regional network comprising East Africa and the wider Indian Ocean. I explore sega's origins in sacred rituals performed by slaves and argue that sega's contemporary secular performance perpetuate sacred devotion through its African rhythmic structure. Drawing from the rich literature on Afro-diasporic musical genres in the Caribbean and the Americas, this thesis demonstrates sega's performance of the sacred through embodied rhythms in dance and the corporeal production of rhythm. This performance of sacred devotion, my thesis demonstrates, is perpetuated through its modem form, sega d'ambiance, performed on modem instruments and inclusive of foreign musical influences. Modem sega's popular success in the Indian Ocean, this thesis argues, circulates on an existing circuit of Indo-oceanic rhythms in the South West Indian Ocean. My thesis further contends that sega's performative history of embodied creolisation complicates the discourse of creolisation elaborated in the Caribbean through its rhythmic convergence with demotic Bhojpuri music and dance traditions in Mauritius. This convergence, this thesis argues, evidences a shared history or embodied creolisation based upon a common body politic of sacred and pleasure performance in Afro-Malagasy and North Indian demotic traditions. Embodied creolisation, my thesis contends, substantiates the body's kinetic memory of rhythmic creolisation able to counter purist ethno-religious discourses in Mauritius.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available