Sega is more than just a dance and a song to the locals of Mauritius when they beat the drums and circle the bonfire. It was a cry, a relief, an expression of joy and redemption of their ancestors who were pushed to slavery and escaped that realm. Sega has now emerged into a folk art where it integrates much of its history and lore to the art form.
When the Dutch found Mauritius 500 years ago, the colony enslaved the locals. This even continued during the British and French rule. The Le Morne Mountain became a relief to escaped slaves, also known as Maroons, who have formed a protective community in the region. At the foot of the moment, there had been a banyan tree where Maroons can express their pains and joys.
The regular meeting turned into laughter, dance, and song, thus, giving birth to Sega music. Singer Linzy Bacbotte told CNN News, "This is the place where our ancestors, the slaves, started everything. It was a place to express themselves after a long, painful day. It was freedom." Sega is usually sung in Mauritian language. Many have desired to translate their songs to English, but they finally chose to have it remained in their native tongue.
Traditional instruments used include the Ravanne, which is made with a wooden hoop attached to a piece of goat skin. Coco or popularly known as the maracas is used for the percussion ensemble, while the triangle adds its tinkle to the music flair. The guitar and the maravanne provide music with their string and seeds tumbling over in a box.
The dance of Sega constitutes the swaying of the hips according to the rhythm and pace of the song. But if one wants to break out free of emotions, they can move in their own tempo until it has found its pattern to Sega music.
Mauritius may have instilled the idea of luxury resorts and beaches in the minds of travelers, but tradition and culture will creep up and eventually find its place in modern times. In fact, Mauritius Attractions considers travelers to learn and dance the Sega.