Afi Ama
(Spirits Most Ancient)

Afi Ama performs the African arts of drums, social and ceremonial songs, dances, theatre, and poetry for all occasions.  Afi Ama forges new artistic ideas from traditional sources. The repertoire of Afi Ama consists of  African, African American, Brazilian and Caribbean traditional, jazz and interpretive dance styles. Live music is played to accompany the dances, usually utilizing the instruments traditional to the particular style of movement being performed.

Afi Ama may perform only as a musical unit for certain occasions. African hand and stick drums, conga drums,  flutes, balafon (African parent of the xylophone), shekere (gourd rattle) and an array of other percussion from the African Diaspora are featured. Guitars, keyboard, and drum set may be used for specific shows.

Afi Ama recorded a cd of Kwanzaa songs entitled "KWANZAA CEREMONIAL MUSIC". The words and music were written by Kunama Mtendaji. It is a unique collection of eight songs (one for each day of Kwanzaa) along with the opening track called "Kwanzaa Furaha" (Happy Kwanzaa). The entire work is a description of celebrating Kwanzaa . All words to the songs are in the  booklet that comes with the cd. To order the cd, call (314) 443-5153 or write

Click "NIA" to hear a sample from the Kwanzaa Ceremonial cd.


The mask dance society is international, founded in accordance with the basic principles of African masquerade societies in general. They work as an entourage of masqueraders, assistants, musicians and dancers. Each mask dance has its own characteristic, meaning and purpose. Ceremonies and special events, both public and private are ideal occasions for the mask society. Currently featured are Nyon Kwoya (stilt dancer so-called in the triple border region of Guinea, Ivory Coast and Liberia), Koompo ("secret", from Senegal), D'mba, or Nimba ( mother, fertility, from Guinea), and Jonkonnu (various character maskers originating from the island of Jamaica).

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