Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet Live – Tita

Enjoy Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet’s dazzling performance of Tita, in Maryland.

In many parts of Mali, until very recently, most marriages were arranged. This had the greatest impact on women, since according to Islamic law, men could take up to four wives; while women might well be stuck forever in a union that was not of their choice. Sometimes they had already formed strong and even passionate friendships in their villages, but once married, these friendships would be lost forever. Matrimony was seen as an obligation, in which child-bearing, not love was the main concern.

Tita was one of a series of songs that emerged around the time of independence in Mali and Guinea, encouraging the youth to follow their hearts, rather than their elders’ wishes. In this version, the leaders of this movement are the griots themselves, who have ‘fallen in love with love’ – even if it leads to malicious gossip and beatings. The word tita and titawati represented the swish of cloth as a couple danced in ballroom style – a true sign of modernity in Mali of the 1950s!

Tita is taken from their new collaborative album, ‘Ladilikan’ which is out 15 Sept via World Circuit Records:

CD, Vinyl and Digital:

Official website:


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