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Dobale is a Yoruba “gesture of respect” that is used widely in Africa and in the African diaspora. It is a salutation to drummers, teachers, elders, and other esteemed members of a community.


Yvonne Daniel described the Dobale as ritual movement phrases of respect and greeting, particularly to an orisha, or Yoruba deity spirit. The offerer of the Dobale lays prostrate on the floor for acknowledgment and recognition by a male orisha. In the case of a female orisha, the offerer lays on one side and an elbow.

Drummers, for example, must be properly acknowledged before any ritual, ceremony, or performance. One way of paying Dobale is by kneeling and placing one’s right hand, palm down, on the ground in front of ...

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