From the begining
of time man has recognized the evocative power of the drum.
Far back in Africa ,the drum was one of the earliest
instruments made and used not only as a means of
communication but as part and parcel of all traditional rituals.
Unfortunately,the drum was a forbidden fruit among
the first Africans who came to the New World,forbidden
by their so-called masters. For hundred of years the
drum was relegated to the background . Today,we have
discovered that with the beat of the drum and the
syncopative rhythms that correspond to our heartbeat,
it can and will propel us to high aesthetic realms,
transform and stimulate,as well as soothe the mind.
Iya IluUnfortunately,the drum was a forbidden fruit among the first Africans who came to the New World,forbidden by their so-called masters. For hundred of years the drum was relegated to the background
Today,we have discovered that with the beat of the drum and the
syncopative rhythms that correspond to our heartbeat,it can and will
propel us to high aesthetic realms, transform and stimulate,as well as
soothe the mind.
How drums are used in healing
The drum has been used for healing purposes throughout the world for thousands of
years, in tribal societies with their shamanic traditions to communicate with the
spirit world, as well as a tool for social integration and to restore harmony.
Sound has an under valued and incredibly important impact on our well-being.
We are very basically made up of miniscule pieces of vibrating sub-atomic particles.
Expose those particles to sound and their vibration changes. Expose us to sound and
our whole being responds and shifts on a cellular level
Any time we're feeling cruddy; tuning into the right music or, much more powerfully,
voicing through song or instruments has the ability to bring us through the crud into
a better state of vibration.This is sound healing at it's most basic and accessible form.
According to West-African wisdom teachings, emotional disturbance manifests as an
irregular rhythm that blocks the vital physical energy flow. As regular even
rhythms are regarded as a sign of health, these rhythms can heal the person by
touching him or her in an immediate and powerful way, removing blockages and
releasing tension. Thus dance and drumming serve as preventive remedies, and they
help people to become more aware and balanced.
According to Layne Redmond, author
of When Drummers Were Women, "The frame drum have been used for thousands of years
in the act of worship in the Mediterranean world. Ancient sources say that the
frame drum was not just a powerful symbol of spiritual presence, it was an important
tool for many spiritual experiences."
According to current medical research, stress is a cause of 98% of all disease. Not
only heart attacks, strokes, immune system breakdowns, but every disease known, with
the exception of two viruses, has now been linked to stress.
studies show that drumming along with our own heartbeats for 15 minutes alters
brainwave patterns (increasing alpha) and dramatically reduces stress. So drumming
actually "meditates" us!
talking drum is in the membranophone class of musical
instruments(membranous head). Shaped like an hourglass, it has two heads
of the same size and shape,locally called dundun, meaning 'sweet sound'.
Adire The two
heads are sewn together with leather thongs call 'osan'.
The dundun is the youngest of the traditional drums in the Yorubaland, but the most powerful
one. Its ability to imitate the tonal sound of language has made it
superior to any of those drums that existed before it. A unique drum, with
the ability to adapt to the tone of any musical instruments, I mean
musical instruments of the universe.
It fares well in jazz blues, R&B,
rock and roll, reggae, classical music, and even choral music. This drum
was originally created as means of communication before the invention of
BataThe Yoruba bata ensemble
is one of the most complex and powerful cultural systems of drumming in Nigeria.
The bata dates back to the 14th century, starting its global journey out of Oyo
in Nigeria during the Atlantic slave trade. The bata drum is believed to have the
capacity to unleash the metaphysical power of the Yoruba deities, the Orisa.
As one of the most compelling voices of Orisa in the new millennium, and like a
great evangelist, the drum continues its centuries-long journey, calling people
into a rhythmic congregation wherever it goes. It is the power of this message and
its relevance to contemporary life, which has secured a global presence of the bata in the 21st century.
Bata drums were introduced or developed in Yoruba land, what is now Southwestern
Nigeria, about 500 years ago, perhaps as much as 800 years ago.
They were introduced by Shango, who was both an actual king in Yoruba history and the deity,
or Orisha. They probably have roots (according to Ortiz and others)
in northeastern Africa or the middle east or even India, where double-headed
drums also exist. Their ancient relatives were most likely in Sudan or Egypt.
The Yoruba have many other drums besides Dundun and to some extent all
these can talk. Most notable among them is "Bata" the special drum of
Sango, the thunder god. Bata has likewise got two membranes...There are,
however, no leather strings to tighten the membranes and the Bata drum
cannot reproduce glides therefore.
(" If they can talk, what
do bata drums say?" They were traditionally used for a variety of purposes,
including allowing a king to summon people to court, announcing visitors
to the king, sending messages such as announcements or warnings to all
within hearing range, and most importantly for ritual purposes to speak
prayers and to play "orikis."
may be called the poetry of the Yoruba. They are ancient metaphorical
descriptions of kings and gods. Always picturesque, often mysterious and obscure.
The bata drums speak. Not in a metaphorical sense, but they really can
be used to speak the Yoruba language, and have been used traditionally to
recite prayers, religious poetry, greetings, announcements, praises for
leaders, and even jokes or teasing. In other countries, speech is produced
or divided between drums in other ways.For example, the Ashantis use two
drum of different pitches and one person beats both drums to speak. A
Dagomba gongon beater speaks on one gongon drum by producing different
sounds depending on how the drum is beat, sometimes muffling by pressing
into the head with a stick it for example.
Ewe drummers on the Atsimewu
lead drum can produce at least nine basic sounds by hitting different
parts of the head, with various parts of the hand or with a stick, muffled
or open, and so on, all within the same pitch range as the adult male's
A SakaraThe Sakara Drum
is a very handy and robust drum crafted from leather on a fired
clay ring made by the renowned Yoruba Tribe of Southern Nigeria.
It is a natural drum made of Goat or Cow hide, twine, red clay and wooden sticks.
This natural drum changes tone as you press on the hide from the backside.
The skin can be stretched with a finger while playing for a "talking drum" effect.
Sounds great on it's own or really stands out when played along with larger drums.
It is traditionally used during the wedding ceremonies of the legendary Yoruba tribe.
Djembe Village Therapist
The jembe (spelled djembe in French writing) is on the verge of
achieving world status as a percussion instrument,
rivaled in popularity perhaps only by the conga and steel pan.
It first made an impact outside West Africa in the 1950s due to
the world tours of Les Ballets Africains led by the Guinean Fodeba Keita.
In the few decades succeeding this initial exposure the jembe was known
internationally only to a small coterie of musicians and devotees of
African music and dance.
Itis mortar-shaped drum that is open at both ends and has a single membrane of
goat or antelope skin stretched over it and is beaten with the bare hands.
It produces three sounds, slap, tone, and base (claque, tonique, and bass
en francais). The djembe is used both as a solo and accompanying
instrument. As with the balafon, a master djembe player is referred to as
(the word balafon is more specifically used to indicate the bala xylophone player)
is the main instrument of the djeli (or jali). The epic tells how the king of the
Mande empire, Dangaran Tuma, elder brother of Sunjata Keita, believed his younger
brother was dangerous and chased him. He then sent his djeli to form an alliance with
King Soumaworo Kante The djeli discovered Soumaworo's bala in a deserted hut. His guardian,
the sparrowhawk, finally let him play the sacred instrument, giving him two sticks.
When Soumaworo recognised the sounds of his Djo (object of adoration) he was furious and
swooped down on the djeli, who was so frightened he began to sing the king's praises,
calming him down. Soumaworo, immediately called the djeli "Kouyate. For nine centuries,
Soumaworo's Sosso-bala has been jealously guarded in the village of Niagassola.
They fall into two main categories: the free-key type, in which the keys
are independent of one another and of their supports, and those with fixed
keys, in which the keys are permanently strung together and attached to