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Spelman College Faculty Stories

Faculty Stories

Celebrating 25 Years: Giwayen Mata Shares Long History with Spelman

July 2018

Giwayn Mata at SpelmanGiwayen Mata, the award-winning dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble, kicks off their 25-year anniversary celebration with the Elephant Leaders of Women Awards Reception and concert, “Tafiya —The Journey, ‘Honoring Our Past and Actuating Our Future’,” Saturday, July 14, at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center.

The creative arts ensemble is no stranger to Spelman. According to Omelika Kuumba, C'81, instructor of African Dance Forms, Spelman has been a home for the ensemble.

“Giwayen Mata performed for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Maya Angelou Black Box Theatre in the Fine Arts Building, and participated in the dedication of the Etta Falconer Science Center,” said Kuumba, who also serves as the ensemble’s artistic director.

Start of QuotePowerful! describes the magnificent experience of seeing the elephant women of GIWAYEN MATA on stage playing instruments once held sacred only for initiated priests. Continuing the rich tradition of African drumming and African dance, GIWAYEN MATA articulates traditional West African rhythms on djembe, sangban, kenkeni, dununba drums and sekere. To the delight of our End of Quoteaudiences and the pleasure of our ancestors we perform a repertoire filled with original and inspired works.

“Through their involvement with Giwayen Mata, Spelman alumnae have been able to perform, teach and study locally, nationally, and in some cases, internationally. Our commitment to empowering women, children and the community at large also reflects Spelman's impact on the world.” Additional celebrations are slated for December 2018 and March 2019. Read more.