FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A DJEMBE?
A “Djembe” is a type of West African drum traditionally hand made from the hollowed out trunk of a tree on the bottom and the skin of a goat on top. Today many of the wooden bottoms are machine carved & have a plastic top. Here in lies the main difference between a cheap factory made & beautifully handcrafted piece of art. The sound of a naturally crafted drum trumps a fake one any day. When buying a djembe you need to take into consideration its purpose, cost & what is the more ecologically sound purchase decision for you to make in your unique situation.
Wikipedia’s definition: “A djembe or jembe (from Malinke jembe) is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which translates to “everyone gather together in peace” and defines the drum’s purpose. In the Bambara language, “djé” is the verb for “gather” and “bé” translates as “peace”.”
Below is a YouTube documentary I found on drum making in Gambia, Africa in 2003.