Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective, based in New Orleans, has been incorporated since January 1981. The Collective is dedicated to the preservation, presentation, documentation and research of traditional African and African American culture, as expressed through the medium of the drum, dance and song.
Kumbuka Collective presents African folklore from Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Members of the Collective are dancers, musicians, historians, jewelers, drum makers, costume designers and painters. These artists have studied extensively in Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
In an effort to document the dances and culture of Africans born in New Orleans and the significance that their presence had on the music and culture of New Orleans, Congo Square became the next focus for the Collective. As a result, the dance Calinda, a dance that has been performed in Congo Square in the 1800s that originates from Haiti, was resurrected. Since 1992, Kumbuka performs this dance regularly, and it has become its signature piece.
Kumbuka’s education programs have been implemented in public schools throughout the state of Louisiana facilitated by Young Audiences. Work-study guides accompany educational programs for teacher and students.