Photo: Mekail Eldaw Bakhit

Family Festival: Nubia


The Getty Villa

This is a past event

Discover the rich traditions of Nubian culture in this free, interactive festival for all ages. Immerse yourself in the sounds and dance of the region with Mekail and Nubian Sound Group and listen as DJ Tana Yonas delicately weaves a selection of musical gems from Africa’s east coast. Find yourself in front of a Nubian pyramid and create your own protective amulets or jewelry inspired by this civilization of three millennia. It’s a day for all your senses.

Complements the exhibition Nubia: Jewels of Ancient Sudan From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Outer Peristyle

Mythological Pectorals with artist Marianne Sadowski
Create your own creature feature with a pectoral inspired by ancient Nubian jewels and mythology!

Ancient Amulets with artist Marcus Kuiland-Nazario
Craft an amulet inspired by ancient symbols meant to protect the living and the dead.

Creative Adornment with artist Matti Sand
Make your own Nubian-inspired beaded jewelry while you explore the connections between the ancient and modern worlds of fashion in this step-by-step jewelry making workshop.

10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Outer Peristyle

Snap Yourself! Photo Booth
Grab your canteen and journey into the ancient Nubian desert with Snap Yourself!

Visit a Nubian Pyramid
Outdoor Classical Theater
Drape yourself in oversized Nubian jewelry and take a selfie while you tower next to a reconstructed Nubian pyramid! Marvel at the construction of these fantastic edifices, recreated in cardboard and wood by artist Kiel Johnson.

Tana Yonas
Outer Peristyle
11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
Take a sonic journey with Tana Yonas as she guides you through dusty bins in foreign record shops, radio songs in bumpy taxi rides, and souvenirs of the everyday from Sudan and beyond. Listen as she delicately weaves together lesser known gems from African folk, jazz, and experimental musical traditions, all with a focus on underrepresented musicians from across the decades.

Mekail and Nubian Sound Group
Inner Peristyle
12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.
Sudanese multi-instrumentalist and music director Mekail Eldaw Bakhit proudly brings his traditional ensemble to the Getty Villa in a rare performance of the music of ancient Nubia. A native of Darfur, Mekail traveled throughout his country playing the oud, accordion, piano, tar (drum) and tambour (a stringed instrument). He produced classic recordings for a who’s who of Sudanese popular music legends, and collaborated for a decade with the renowned and beloved Nubian vocalist Mohammed Wardi.

“Nubians are the Pharaohs of the Sudan,” says Mekail. He will perform royal sounds with an ensemble of local Nubian musicians and dancers. Get ready for an immersive and authentic presentation of ancient melodies and rhythms curated by one of Los Angeles’s under-celebrated North African musical treasures.

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