Gahu

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Kwasi: Gahu comes from a Nigerian piece called “Kokosawa”. This piece was adapted by Ewes into Gahu. Kinka is derived from Gahu.

Wisdom: This dance was called the airplane dance by the old colonial masters. It can happen at any occasion, but especially for recreation.

Gahu Dance

Video of the 5 Gahu dance variations

The Basic Step

This consists of four steps. The first two are forward with your right foot (right right), and the second two are forward with your left foot (left left). So it goes, "Right, right, left, left." Many of the variations have other movements with this basic step as a foundation.

Transition One

Variation One

  • On the drum roll signal, put your hands in the air while doing the basic step. Shout and hoot.
  • When the master drummer gives the signal to change, continue the basic step, but bend from the waist down.
  • On the end signal, jump up & out, hands in the air.

Variation Two

  • Do the basic step, bending from the waist down, with your hands on your waist. Turn in on the right steps and turn out and smile at the audience on the left step.
  • On the end signal, jump up & out, hands in the air.

Variation Three

  • On the roll signal, put your hands in the air while doing the basic step.
  • On the signal, do the basic step, but bend from the waist down.
  • On the signal for this variation, jump up & out, hands in the air. Put your right hand out to the audience, palm up, as if presenting to the audience.
  • Step left with your left foot (LF). Cross over with your right foot (RF). Step left with your LF. On this last step your left hand comes out to the inside of the circle. During the previous steps, do the classic upper body Ewe movement.
  • Do the same as in above, but in reverse: R, cross L, R. Make a nice face at the audience on the last R step, presenting your hand, palm up, to the audience.

Variation Four

  • The master drum signals and to start you put your left hand (LH) on your left hip and your right hand (RH) in the air, as if to say, "I did." All the while, continue to step the basic movement (Right, Right, Left, Left).
  • Then you bring your RH down and in front of you, while the master drum signals, "Who stole the drumbeat?"
  • Repeat these motions and gradually move towards the inside of the circle until you are close enough to put your LH on the left hip/waist of the person in front of you. When you are close enough, do so, continuing the motion of the right hand.
  • Once the master drummer sees that everyone has their LH on the person in front of them, he/she will signal.
  • When the signal is finished, put your RH on the person-in-front-of-you's waist and step backwards: Right, Right, Left, Left.
  • The master drum gives the signal to end. Jump out and put your hands in the air. Return to the basic movement.

Variation Five

  • The master drummer will give the roll signal. Put your hands in the air and hoot & holler and make some noise.
  • On signal, do the basic step, bending down at the waist.
  • On the end signal, ladies jump facing the outside of the circle to land in front of the man behind them. Men jump to turn and face the outside of the circle, while a woman lands in front of them. The man puts his hands on the woman's waist and they groove.
  • The master drummer will give the "Jump, jump, sit" part of the signal. When he gives the "Dance, dance, look" part of the signal, both the man and the woman do the upper body Ewe movement twice, then look at each other. The woman looks to the right at the man, and the man looks left to the woman. Both smile as big as they can or make some other big facial expression.
  • The variation continues with the "Jump, jump, sit". The woman jumps to the left twice and on the third jump "sits" on the knee of the man to the left of her first partner. The men do the upper body Ewe movement while the women are jumping. When the woman sits on the man's knee, he holds her waist and they continue with the "Dance, dance, look" part of the variation.

Transition Two

Gahu Songs

L=Leader, G=Group, A=All

Gahu Ee

  • L: Gahu ee gahu miedogbena miloo
  • G: Gahu ee gahu miedogbena miloo
  • L: Miedogbe
  • G: Gahu miedogbe
  • L: Miedogbe
  • G: Gahu miedogbe
  • L: Gahu ee gahu miedogbena miloo
  • G:Gahu ee gahu miedogbena miloo
  • Meaning: Gahu dancers greet you

Elo Adukpe

  • L: Elo
  • G: Elo adukpe
  • (repeat)
  • A: Asaw, asaw kinilo
  • L: asaw kinilo
  • A: Elo, elo adukpe nudzaw lo
  • A: Oo nu dzaw leo fumi o
  • (repeat)

Se Adzo

  • L: Se adzo yi Gahu do se adzo sabadzo
  • G: Se adzo yi Gahu do se adzo sabadzo
  • (also can replace ‘gahu’ with ‘josefu’)
  • Meaning: Nigerian language; unknown meaning. A girl born on Monday is known as “Adzo.”

Gahuvua gbele gbele za tsi ee

  • L: Gahuvua gbele gbele za tsi ee
  • G: Mayi miakpa wo da
  • L: Gbele gbele za tsi ee
  • G: Mayi miakpa wo da
  • A: aa ee ee
  • A: Gahuvua gbele gbele za tsi ee
  • A: Mayi miakpa wo da

Minya kpona

  • L: Minya kpawna
  • G: Gahuviwo minya kpawna
  • (repeat)
  • A: Dzokoto ga le wosi wodona
  • A: Vawkpe de wo nu
  • A: Enya pe dzaw le keta dume lo
  • A: Minya kpawna
  • A: Gahuviwo minya kpawna

Osee loo

  • L: Osee loo o see hoo nayaw
  • G: Aaa ooo see
  • (repeat these two lines)
  • A: Sabale mawua dza
  • A: Oo gahu si o tana yaw woe
  • (repeat these two lines)
  • (this song is used while shaking hands at the beginning of the performance, just before acceleration)

Gahu Chants

  • (Gahu ending)
  • (1) Pay pa se pay pa pay pa
  • (2) Ah say yay yay


Gahu Drums

Here is a table representing how the drums, bell, rattle and basic step fit together temporally:

Gahu
Drums ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Beat B _ + _ B _ + _ B _ + _ B _ + _
Gangkogui L _ _ H _ _ H _ _ _ H _ _ _ H _
Axatse pum _ _ pa ti _ pa _ ti _ pa _ ti _ pa _
Sogo chi _ _ _ Den _ chi _ chi _ _ _ den _ chi _
Kagan _ _ ka gan _ _ ka gan _ _ ka gan _ _ ka gan
Kidi 1 B B _ P P _ B B B B P _ P _ B B
Kidi 2 B _ P P _ _ B B B _ P P _ _ B B
Kidi 3 B _ P P P _ B B B _ P P P _ B B