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D’jambi, a traditional dance and musical ceremony and ritual from São Tomé and Príncipe. I was told 'it is a way of connecting to the spirits of the dead', during the ceremony, participants connect with them through trance state of minds. Participants can evoke this transcendent mood among themselves. This trance-like state is often associated with rhythmic and hypnotic phases, sometimes violent. 


Locally the term used is “montar/ montado pelo espírito.” It is also used in Brazil with candomblé and it means “to mount, ride”. In reality the person –often a woman, but can also be a man--- is “mounted by the spirit”.

The music often features repetitive, hypnotic rhythms created by traditional instruments like drums and other rhythmic elements. H
erbs and palm wine all contribute and lead to the state of possession.

D’jambi participants perform an intricate and repetitive step on often dusty ground. It is often practiced in groups and within a community setting. During the ceremony, several men and women walk around spit-spraying palm wine into the crowds. The combination of synchronised movements, rhythmic music and induced substances can lead to a trance-like experience. The whole ceremony can last up to 10 hours.

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