Alfred Mercier on the Banza

In Alfred Mercier’s 1881 novel L’Habitation Saint-Ybars, ou Maitres et esclaves en Lousiane there is a scene involving a “banza” played by an old African man named Ima. It is, of course, difficult to know whether this is based on direct observation of the instrument or on Mercier’s reading of other texts from Louisiana or the Caribbean. Nevertheless, it represents one of the few mentions of the instrument in the nineteenth century literature.

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  1. Pingback: DIGITAL: Banjology | African Diaspora, Ph.D.

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