Relations between performance contexts

Polak 2000 surveys and studies the relations between three different performance contexts of jembe playing: participatory local celebration culture, culturally representative national folklore, and the global market. These contexts certainly are distinct in terms of, for instance, institution, geography, and chronology: urbanization and nationalization preceded and preconditioned the globalization of jembe playing. The paper argues, however, that these contexts do not constitute discrete spheres. Historically and biographically (in the lives of many players), these contexts overlap to considerable degrees. Moreover, both nationalization and globalization of jembe playing have fed back into the local practice of jembe performance in Bamako. The paper highlights the example of technologically significant and historically rapid changes in instrument construction.