The History of Djembe

The djembe drum is a cultural instrument which originated in Africa. Some say it originated in Ghana, the history to where it first began is unclear. A lot of the rhythms we play come from Ghana and South Africa. However the drum comes from various African tribes, predominantly the Mandinka people.But we are all tribal in my personal belief. We all have a heart beat, we all have rhythm.

There are many names for the djembe. It is also known as jembe or yembe amongst many other names. The Djembe is made from wood which is carved out into a goblet shape. It is hollow in the centre and the top of the drum is covered with animal skin. The Djembe is a hand instrument. One uses their hands to hit either the base of the drum or the edge of the drum which is the tone.

The djembe is now a very popular instrument and is played throughout the world. It has outlasted years and years and now there is something that has touched the heart of the western world.

"Anke dje, anke be" translates as "everyone gather together" and this is what djembe is all about, it brings people together and defines the very purpose of the drum. We start together and we finish together. We speak in unity and we play in unity. We come together as one. The primary notes are referred to as "bass", "tone", and "slap" There are a variety of other tones that can also be produced by master drummers or those who are more advanced players.It is really good for team work and brings a sense of, we are the same but we are different. Like U2's song, (we are one but not the same, we need to carry each other) comes to mind.

People can now make their own drums. I will be making my own one soon and I will delve more into the history as we go along.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.