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Mapouka (also macouka) is a traditional dance from the Dabou area of southeast Côte d'Ivoire that originated with the Aizi, Alladian and Avikam people. It is also known as "la danse du fessier" or "the dance of the behind".
The dance is mostly performed by women, shaking their rear end side to side, facing away from their audience, often while bent over. There are two forms of the dance, the original and the modern. The modern is danced mostly by young people and is considered more obscene and improper by some due to its suggestive nature.
In the 1980s, artists of the Ivory Coast tried without much success to popularize it. One of the most well known groups is Tueuses de Mapouka. In 1998, the government of Côte d'Ivoire prohibited its performance in public. Following the prohibition, the dance enjoyed very fast-growing global following, especially in the sub-Saharan countries and western nations with large Francophone communities.
The dance is similar to what is referred to in belly dance as "shimmies". The fundamental difference is that in belly dance it is performed while upright and facing the audience, whereas Mapouka is performed more often while bent over and facing away from the audience. The hip movements are however the same. It is also possibly the origin of certain moves in many western hemisphere dances, such as twerking, New Orleans Bounce ("exercising" move), dancehall ("vibrate" and "one drop"), soca, and samba.
A similar dance called twerking has existed in the US since 1993.
- Akindes, Simon (2002). "Playing it 'Loud and Straight': Reggae, Zouglou, Mapouka and Youth Insubordination in Côte d'Ivoire". Playing with Identities in Contemporary Music in Africa. Nordic Africa Institute. pp. 99–100. ISBN 9789171064967.
- Newell, Sasha (2012). The Modernity Bluff: Crime, Consumption, and Citizenship in Côte D’Ivoire. University of Chicago Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-226-57519-3.
- Orishi, Norimitsu (28 May 2000). "Dance Has Africans Shaking Behinds, and Heads", The New York Times.
- Mbakwe, Christina (2013). "The Origins of Twerking, What It Is, What It Means, and How It Got Appropriated"
- Newman, Jason (2013). "Big Freedia Slams Miley Cyrus' Twerking"
- BrasilCarnivalCOMBR Youtube Channel, (2011) "Respect Samba Dance"