Original artwork.
“Dununba Dancer in Flight” - 19 x 24 in. (48 x 61 cm), graphite on bristol.

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Dununba Dancer in Flight

19x24 graphite on bristol.

“Dununba” is the name of a Malinké festival and family of rhythms that accompany it. It is known as the “dance of the strong men”, and I have written extensively about it in my book, Djoliba Crossing.

Here, a dancer hailing from the Kouroussa region of Guinea, West Africa, gets airborne while displaying his strength and prowess as a dancer in this exuberant festival. The festival is always accompanied by the traditional Malinké drums: Dununba, Sangban, Kenkeni (the skin is played with sticks and each has a bell attached to the drum), and the djembe (played with bare hands).

Drawing on Culture

An Artist’s West Africa Travelogue


In Drawing on Culture, Kobrenski shares his artwork, stories, and insights about culture and worldviews with the keen eye of an anthropologist so that we might, in turn, see our own cultural worldview with new eyes.

More than thirty new artworks from his time in Guinea are compiled here alongside his own field notes and essays. His portrait drawings inspire conversations about diversity, tradition, and why ancient ways of knowing are now more relevant than ever.

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“Dave Kobrenski is a gifted artist and musician, and a better anthropologist than many of the PhDs I know. Here is a fine text that depicts people as they are, illustrates their essence, and demonstrates the importance of appreciating, without appropriating, their lives and ways of being.”

Katherine Donahue, Ph.D, Professor Emerita, Anthropology