Sory Kandia Kouyaté (1937 - 1977)




Great Jeli, vocalist, n'koni player and composer


Main famous albums :


Sory Kandia Kouyaté, L'épopée du Mandingue vol.1, Syliphone 1970
Sory Kandia Kouyaté, L'épopée du Mandingue vol.2, Syliphone 1970
Sory Kandia Kouyaté, Tour d'Afrique de la Chanson, Syliphone 1970


Sory Kandia Kouyate was a very great artist worldwide famous. I know him only by the story that my father told me about his friendship with this legendary artist ; for fear of misjudging about such a great man, I 'd rather talk about :


dot the exclusive story of the meeting of M. Amadou Berthe, my father, with Sory Kandia Kouyate


dot a synthesis of legends and historic origins of the clanic and patronymic name «Kouyate».


Justin Morel's Web site

Origin of the clanic patronymic name «Kouyate»


dot Sory Kandia Kouyate belongs to the great lineage of Kouyate «jelis» who are issuing from Balla Fasseke Kouyate, the first «jeli» in the Manding kingdom.


 dot Legend tells that, at the beginning, Bala Fasseke was the appointed «jeli» of Sundjata.


dot When he went as a messenger to Sundjata's enemy, the king of the Sosso called Soumaoworo Kante, Bala Fasseke was so fascinated by a weird instrument (a xylophone like, the bala), that he came into the private room of the king and began to play it at once. Actually, «the weak side of the jeli is the music, for the jeli's soul is shaped by music», D.T. NIANE, Sundiata, an Epic of Old Mali, Trans. G. D. Pickett. Reprinted Essex: Longman, 1986 .


dot Hearing those godlike unheard sounds, Soumaoworo Kante rushed in his room and found out Bala Fasseke playing. He blamed the jeli's break in but he fell himself so enamoured by the new tune improvised by Bala for him that he took Bala as prisoner. The aftermath was a « casus belli » and war broke out between Sundjata, the despoiled king, and Soumaworo Kante, the sorcerer king.


dot Legend has on it that Soumaworo Kante cut Bala Fasseke heel's nerves so he's been bounded then to stay at his own service ; then, Soumaworo Kante gave him those (nick)names : «(é) Bala Fa Sé Ké », i.e. « You are able to make bala talk » and « (An) Ku Yan Té », i.e. : « About it, we can't talk » or « We share a secret » ; that (nick)name was turned in « Kouyate » by French people. Thus, « Kouyate » became the clanic patronymic name of Bala Fasseke male progeny.


 dot «Jelis» and traditionists use to trace back the clanic patronym of « Kouyate » (Kwâte) to an earliest ancestor named « Djakuma (the Cat) Doko Doua », the father of Balla Fasseke. Thus, the cat is the totemic animal of the Kouyate people.


dot Even today, in many Manding countries, many Kouyate people are «jelis» or artists ; they are the only one who have the ability to tell about the true history or origins of the Mande.


dot The storyteller of Sundjata, the Epic of Old Mali , is called Djeli Mamadou Kouyate.


dot During official ceremonies, the Kwâte use to shout out loudly that they are at the most higher estimated degree among the « ñamakalaya » (group of people who belongs to a specific cast). It occurs particularly when «jelis» are singing the song «Lamban».


Source of patronymic name : «Kanté»



< Hank Jones meets Cheick Tidiane Seck, Sarala, © 1995- Verve - 528783-2 Mangala, Réexpédition, © 2000 Groovity Music - Mélodie Ref : AP 00021-2  Sekouba Bambino, Sinikan, © 2002 Syllart - NextMusic/Sono - CDS 8932 Janice de Rosa & Djeli Moussa Condé, Aduna, © 2003 - Next music Richard Bona, Munia - The Tale, © 2004 - Universal - feat. S. Keita td class="fond-gris-ethiopian" >
Sory Kandia Kouyate - Souaressi from La Voix de la Revolution
Added by SternsMusic 18 janv. 2012 Released on Sterns Music Feb 13 2012
Sory Kandia Kouyate - Lamban from L'Epopée du Mandingue vol.2
Added by AboubacarSiddikh 14 Dec. 2010



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