Friday marks 10 years since the passing of legendary singer Miriam Makeba, or, Mama Africa as she is fondly known. Makeba had many great hits, but her song, "Pata Pata" is one that will undoubtedly be enjoyed by many generations to come.
The song’s title "Pata Pata" means "touch touch" in the Xhosa language, in which the song was originally written and sung.
"Pata Pata" was also the name of a style of dance that was popular in the shebeens of Johannesburg’s Townships in the mid-1950s.
The dancer crouched before his partner and patted her body to the rhythm of the music as he rose up and she spun around, making hip circles.
Makeba’s "Pata Pata" was originally sung, recorded, and released in South Africa by Makeba’s girl group The Skylarks in 1959. In 1967, after establishing a successful singing career in the US, Makeba re-recorded the song with producer Jerry Ragovoy.
The album charted at number 74 on the US albums chart.
Learn how to do the "Pata Pata" dance below.
Or watch Makeba perform the "Pata Pata" song.
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