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.

© National Museums Liverpool

Accession reference: National Museums Liverpool, Ethnology Collection 65

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