Small drum with stick
This drum is from the Asante people of Ghana and is 535mm long. It is an instrument made of wood and hide. It was played with a drum stick on one end. Squeezing the strings under the arm tightened and loosened the skin, and changed the sound of the drum – hence ‘talking’.
Drums were used in Africa as part of music, storytelling, and general festivities. They were also used as a form of communication to send messages. This use of drums was feared by European planters, since their beatings might be used to signal the start of a rebellion.
Until recently, many commentators on Africa claimed that African societies had no tradition of writing. Read more...