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Daby Touré

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Biography

Daby’s story goes back two generations and has a fairy tale beginning. Once upon a time, there were four brothers who lived in a village near Kayes, in what is now the modern state of Mali. They were all shoemakers and leather workers and they strived to sustain the old traditional family trade by turning the skins of crocodiles from the nearby river into shoes, bags, pouches and wallets. But for some reason, perhaps drought or excessive hunting, the crocodile population began to fall dramatically and the family were no longer able to live from their craft. The brothers decided to disperse to the four winds and they never saw each other again. One of them, Daby Toure, went to live near Zinguinchor in Casamance, the southernmost province of Senegal, where he married four wives and produced a large brood of children. For reasons that no one has ever been able to really explain, this new Toure generation was touched by a deep love and gift for music. A younger member of the clan, Hamidou Toure, was brought up by an uncle up north in Mauritania. Once he had graduated as a doctor in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, he was sent to a sand blown desert town called Boutilimit, where he married a beautiful woman, who was half Moorish or Hassaniya and half Toucouleur. They gave birth to a son who they called Daby, in honour of his grandfather, the patriarch of the family.

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from the album Diam

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