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Explore the djembe during a trip to Senegal


The djembe, traditional percussion instrument of West Africa, when the empire Mandingo. Now associated with Senegalese music, tourists never fail to bring the famous drum in their luggage.

The djembe, an instrument of social music in Senegal

Party of Guinea through the Malinke, the djembe has spread across Africa West, taking various forms. It was in the Mandingo country that really pulls the drum's origins. The Senegal becomes part of the countries that comprise the Mande empire formed in the thirteenth century, Mali and Ivory Coast. Played especially by the Fulani, the djembe is closely associated with sacred rites affecting the daily lives of community members.

Religious holidays, social celebrations, festivals or agricultural prayers, the djembe is not a simple percussion instrument. Indeed, it carries quite a history, oral traditions and culture of many African ethnic groups. Accompanying events The most important village, associated with the djembe dance rhythm then the life of each community. Today on horseback between modernity and tradition, the instrument has been exported worldwide.

What makes a djembe?

Many parts make up the drum up. The barrel, which looks hollow, is fashioned in solid wood. The djembe from Senegal is generally made of teak. The flared shape hourglass is reminiscent of a mortar. The foot is also slightly flared, whose length is not fixed in order to diversify the gushing sound. It is topped with a skin of an antelope or goat whose voltage is provided by wooden pegs in its traditional manufacturing.

The djembe is not played alone. Other musical instruments accompanying him, including bass drums called dununs. The Djabar added to these drums, a kind of gourd wrapped filet wearing pearls or small seeds. Played for a specific event, the musical phrases of the djembe is unique to that event, drawing and punctuating specific dance steps. If you attend traditional ceremonies during your trip to Senegal, you will also find that each community has its own way of playing the djembe.


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