In time with the sega
Sega is a well-known, typical music genre across the Mascarene archipelago, of which Mauritius forms part. In Mauritius, traditional sega is called “sega tipik” – it is well known for its wild rhythm, festive soul and enchanting lyrics. This musical heritage is a true reflection of the Mauritian way of life…
To bring this festival of notes and colours to life, sega artists use different instruments, including the ravanne, the maravanne and the triangle. The ravane is the sega’s masterpiece; this big drum carved from guava wood and covered with taut goatskin gives rhythm to the other instruments. The maravanne, on the other hand, is made from sugarcane sticks aligned to form a rectangle. This “box” containing little stones, metal balls or seeds, is shaken to the desired rhythm by musicians, complementing the singing and other instruments forming the song. The triangle is also omnipresent.
Sega is rather “inclusive”, with other instruments being added to the songs every now and again to accentuate the rhythm. In a sega concert, we can find the makalapo, the serp or even the accordion, often used by the famous sega group, Ti-Frère.
Creole songs match the orchestra’s melody, telling tales about the lives of Mauritians: their joys, their sorrows, their love stories. The “king of sega” is called Ti-Frère, his many songs are great classics of Mauritian music. There are also many other sega artists, including Serge Lebrasse, the Cassiya group, or Kaya, the inventor of the seggae, a musical mix between reggae and sega.
How to visit Mauritius without learning a few sega tricks? Get ready to shake your hips and dance to the rhythm of the music. Real seducing game between dance partners, sega has been recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage since 2014.
If your stay in Mauritius has awaken your desire to become a sega aficionado, you’ll be delighted to know many music shops around the island sell CDs – their owners will be more than happy to suggest their favourite songs and artists. You’ll find yourself an opportunity to keep musical souvenirs of your stay and share these memories with your friends and family back home…
With sega, your immersion at the heart of the Mauritian culture is guaranteed!