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The seemingly elusive connections between a West African ceremony and a Southern blues scape is this thesis’s central focus. In Unmasking The Blues: Gẹlẹdẹ And The Creation Of Blues Alchemy, I explore the blues culture phenomena of alchemy (a personal, cultural, collective liberation attained through transformative ritualized, energetic shifts), all through the dancing body. Focusing on historical images of blues dance, I analyze the presence of Africanisms: the aesthetic characteristics that manifest symbolic and literal representations of African identity. Maintaining a focus on two blues dance performers and the choreographic processes of three African American modern-based artists, I examine the surviving attributes of Nigerian Gẹlẹdẹ in blues dancing. In particular, understanding the presence of Gẹlẹdẹ masking, ancestral embodiment, and gender fluidity as primary to blues making deepens our understanding of African Diaspora dances, including locating African retentions within American forms. The driving agenda for this thesis, then, is to first to illuminate and contribute to identifiable sources of surviving Africanisms in blues aesthetics and secondly, bring attention to blues dance and its aesthetic as a foundational element of African American dance. As my initial substantial inquiry into African American cultural dance identities, this thesis intends to locate Africanisms and Africanist identity within blues aesthetics. My desire is to delve further than previous dance histories, and—akin to many histories of dislocated memories and people—reunite the Africa/blues dancing connection via scholarship, a task equally as important as the ongoing reunions found within recent scholarship concerning transnational, African diasporic musical and dance practices. It is therefore essential to address the roots of African American development. Not only the first evolving sounds of the drum, but also the signature movements of labor and toil born in the southern fields of the United States defy what appeared as a death upon the transatlantic ships. That journey was actually a rebirth; it equipped enslaved Africans with weapons of resilience and strength needed to survive. This ignited the phenomenal equation I explore in the following pages: the Continent’s alchemist tools, embedded with àṣẹ, produced the birth of blues.