Senegal ´living human treasure´ singer dies aged 95

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Senegal ´living human treasure´ singer dies aged 95

DAKAR: Senegalese singer and musician Samba Diabare Samb, named a “living human treasure” by UNESCO in 2006, has died at the age of 96, President Macky Sall said on Saturday.

“Senegal has lost one of its most illustrious sons,” he said, adding that the musician had been “a symbol of dignity and social cohesion” as well as a virtuoso xalam player, a traditional West African stringed instrument similar to a lute.

Born in 1924 into a family of Griots, praise singers who are born into the profession, the instrument is traditionally heard at weddings, infant naming ceremonies and as part of folklore ensembles.

A noted historian, genealogist and poet, Samba Diabare Samb is also remembered for a memorable television programme broadcast on the eve of independence in 1960 celebrating Senegal´s cultural legacy.

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