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The Umfundalai dance technique was created in 1970 by Kariamu Welsh, an African educator, choreographer, and cultural and dance scholar who is an instructor at Temple University in the Boyer College of Music and Dance. The Umfundalai dance technique rests on the core Afrocentric principle that in the study of African people and African phenomena, the culture, philosophy, and lived experience of African people positions them as subjects who know and act, as opposed to objects who are known and acted upon.

Historical Background

In the African language Kiswahili, the term Umfundalai means essence. The term is also understood to mean “essential.” The Black Arts movement and the women’s movement of the 1960s were poignant periods for Welsh, both serving as ideological backdrops ...

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