welcome to our village

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Kúkátónón is an African dance youth performance troupe committed to building and serving our community by offering culturally authentic dance instruction, youth mentoring, and support to our children, their families and communities.

Our History

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Kúkátónón (pronounced Koo Kah Ton Naun) means “We are One” in the Kpelle language of Liberia. We were founded in 1983 by Mama Rolia Manyongai-Jones, an immigrant from rural Liberia and a former teacher in the Portland Public Schools. It was with a dream of educating young minds about African and African American traditions and bringing people together across cultural lines through her life’s passion, dance, that Mama Rolia founded Kúkátónón 35 years ago.

We now host our weekly dance rehearsals at Jefferson High School in NE Portland, and frequently put on performances, workshops, and community events. Follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop!

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My daughter has been dancing with Kúkátónón for over four years. As an African American pre-adolescent living in a predominantly white city, developing a healthy self-concept is challenging. Kúkátónón has been a catalyst for her positive sense of personal beauty, advanced academic achievement, and overall well-being.
— Ms. Bahia Overton, a Kúkátónón Parent
Kúkátónón dancers with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler after performing at the 2017 Pan African Festival!

Kúkátónón dancers with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler after performing at the 2017 Pan African Festival!


We are so grateful for the support of these generous foundations and businesses. They are an amazing part of our Village!