The balafon is an ancient percussion instrument that dates back to the courts of the Mandinka Empire and is still a popular West African instrument today. It is the most important heritage musical instrument played by the Griots. Musical and physical aspects of communication; volume, pitch, tempo, emotional register, context, facial expression, eye contact, and other forms of body language affect how the content of communication is understood. As practiced musicians and performers, Griots were known for wielding power in the use of these expressive techniques for communication.
The video below shows Burkina Azza in the city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Led by Adama Koita, Burkina Azza are 26th generational Balafon Griot. Hailing from Djibasso near the western border of Mali, their family members have recently been pushed to the city of Ouagadougou to escape terrorist threats in the village. They remain joyous people dedicated to their heritage and music.