Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Le Larlé-Naaba et sa Troupe Folklorique – Les Trésors du Mogho – Disques CVD 003, 1975 (LP)

The Larlé Naaba Abga (1907-1982), born Yamba Tiendrébéogo, played a major role in Burkina Faso's cultural life. This high-ranking nobleman was the minister to the Mogho Naaba, the emperor of the Mossi People, as well as a philosopher, historian, storyteller and musician. The Larlé Naaba perpetuated the Mossi storytelling and musical traditions in the recently independent Burkina Faso of the 1960s and 1970s (then called Upper-Volta), notably through his popular weekly radio show heard throughout the country.

Abga, the "panther," as he was called, led a troupe of some 30 musicians, singers and dancers, whose music was fortunately captured on several LPs released on Frédéric Pacéré Titenga’s great CDV label. This brilliant disc kicks off with an introduction narrated by the Larlé Naaba (protocol prohibited him from actually singing), accompanying himself on the three-string kundé guitar, where he reflects on life and gives advice (A1); masterful kundé guitar playing by Tinga Diallo (A2); a luminous track with the interaction between Youngo's  glorious voice and a haunting duudga fiddle driven by kiéma metal castanets–a ritualized invitation to the chief to step out of his palace (A3). The remaining tracks feature female singers Mariam and Hatto, who where famous in their own right, accompanied by dazzling kunde guitars, backing vocals, and percussion (A4-Side B).

Le Larlé Naaba Abga (1907-1982), de son vrai nom Yamba Tiendrébéogo, a marqué la vie culturelle du Burkina Faso. Noble de très haut rang, ministre de l’empereur des Mossi, le Mogho Naaba, il était aussi philosophe, historien, conteur et musicien. Il a perpétué la tradition des contes et de la musique mossi dans le Burkina indépendant des années 60-70 (alors nommé Haute-Volta), notamment à travers des émissions radiodiffusées sur l’ensemble du territoire national.

Abga, 'la panthère,' comme on le surnommait, était à la tête d’une troupe d'une trentaine de personnes composée de musiciens, de chanteuses, de chanteurs et de danseurs, dont la musique a fort heureusement été diffusée sur plusieurs albums du label CDV crée par Frédéric Pacéré Titenga dans les années 1970. Ce disque d’une qualité musicale exceptionnelle commence par une introduction contée du Larlé Naaba (le protocole interdit au Larlé Naaba de chanter) qui s’accompagne à la guitare à trois cordes kundé, où il réfléchit sur le sens de la vie et prodigue des conseils (A1); la virtuosité de Tinga Diallo à la guitare kundé (A2); un morceau avec des interactions lumineuses entre la voix imposante de Youngo et une vièle duudga lancinante portées par des castagnettes de métal kiéma – une invitation ritualisée qui demande au chef de sortir de son palais (A3). Les autres titres présentent les célèbres " femmes à la voix d'or " Mariam et Hatto soutenues par de superbes jeux de guitares kundé, des choeurs, et des percussions (A4-Face B).


Our many thanks to our friend João for sharing this wonderful record!

Also thanks to E, R and Monsieur S. in Ouaga for their insight into the Larlé Naaba and Mossi culture, as well as Nuno’s expert contribution with the visuals.

Our other Burkina-Faso music posts:
El Hadji Hamado Kanazoe - Maitre Coranique Secteur 19 Vol. 1 here
Les Trésors du Faso – Musique Traditionnelle Vol. 1 here
Compil du Salou Traditionnel Burkinabé Vol. 1 - KA 00134 here

Photograph below is from The Dance, Art and Ritual of Africa by Michel Huet, Pantheon Books, New York, 1978:

‘Red horsemen’ dancing, Koudougou, Burkina-Faso.
This society of men formerly served the Moro Naaba, the king of the Mossi People, as caretakers of the royal stables. Their traditional dances embody the movements of a running horse, flyswatter in hand. In Mossi esoteric lore, a seeker must symbolically mount a horse to reach the invisible world.

Please help me purchase important traditional records to pursue my global curation                                project and share the best finds with you on this blog:


  1. Thanks for that one!

    I have some other Mossi-LPs from CVD, but not this one.

    1. The CVD label released some 100 LPs and 45s in the second half of the 1970s. Great traditional music as well as pop music, notably from Amadou Balaké. Good copies of these records are very hard to find, so you're one of the lucky few.

  2. You' re right, MR
    I gave some CVD-copies as CDs to a friend who spend a some years in Ouaga, and the people where not aware, that these albums even existed. I find this sad...

    1. If you're ever interested in exchanging digital recordings of CVD records, you can contact me at music.republic.project@gmail.com

  3. Thanks for this wonderful share!

    1. My pleasure Sotise. I'll also share more Mossi music from the CVD label in a future post.