The djembe has a great cultural heritage in Africa.
Although similar in cultural use and significance to many countries and
tribes on the African continent, it has minute but significant
The Djembe is the drum
of the Mandinka people, and its origins dates back to the great Mali
Empire of the 12th century. The djembe is also known as djenbe, jembe,
sanbanyi, jymbe or yembe. It is made from an single piece of wood and
carved into the shape of a goblet that is hollow throughout with a skin
covering over the top. The drum is played with bare hands.
Of all the African drums, the djembe has
become extremely sought after in the Western world and is regarded
as the most popular. This drum has inspired master drum makers now found
all over the world.
djembe below is made in Mali. In and around the Kayes region. The drum rhythm or Diansa is
performed in the evening for most celebrations, example during full
moon, spring, summer and winter harvesting time, weddings, baptism,
honoring of mothers, immediately after Ramadaan (the month of fast for
all Muslim brothers and sisters) or other celebrations. Dancing is the
most popular form of entertainment and various rhythms and beats are
played on the djembe. Similar type celebrations and cultural rhythms are
applicable to Senegal as well as other regions of West Africa.
from Mali are the most suitable
for covering the playing surface of a djembe, due to
central Africa having the perfect climatic and grazing conditions for
the goats. The West African goat skin are also thicker and tougher and
impacts greatly on the quality of the sound. The skins therefore
undoubtedly, provide the very best sound. Skins used from other
countries have poor sound quality and tends to break easily.
painting below depict African drummers from
the Wolof tribe, natives of Senegal. They use a skin drum and
it is played with one hand and a thin stick. The drum is placed on the
ground or strapped to the side of the body and is played whilst the fans
or audience, mainly single women of marital age, do the "Sabar".
A dance where women roll the hips, create sexual movements of the
buttocks in a provocative manner, to entice males. Various forms of
the dance take place in Africa during special celebrations.
African hat to the left is typically worn by djembe enthusiasts, African
musicians or as a fashion statement.
the djembe catalog here.