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Cultural Drums - Message Drums and more


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Sep 20 2004 - 11:48:03 PDT

Dear Fran (and all),

Once you get a slit drum - you can try this lesson
Message Drums
My Cameroon version is different - probably more like
a tongue drum (it makes two distinct pitches when one
strikes the tongue cuts).

Find someone with wood working tools who is willing to
help. Get a block of hard wood (a 4" x 4" x 12" piece
would work for tongue drum). Hollow out the back side
- leaving about 1/2 to 3/4" of wood across top). Cut
slits in top (I can diagram mine if you are
interested). I imagine you could make one by
assembling separate pieces of wood, too. (Mine is
carved from one block of wood).

This site looks promising:
Scroll down to the glossary:
click on World Drums.
Check their links too.

Students could make gourd shakers (Africa) - those
would be authentic. They can use beads or even buttons
on the outside. They use all sorts of stuff in Africa.
They are called shekere or axatse in Africa (West
Africa mainly). If you will use it, I have a large
gourd I could send to you (you would have to pay

The tells you how to make an authentic slit drum and
djembe (West African)

Thumb Drums from Africa (or thumb piano) are easy to
find - and relatively inexpenisve. I got mine froom
Ten Thousand Villages (Congo or Kenya?).

See what you can find about Taiko drums of Japan:
Look up Kodo Drummers Group

See if you can find images of ancient Bronze drums:

This site has many authentic drums:
Check Crizmac and Ten Thousands Villages first though
- you'll save a lot of money. My Cameroon tongue drum
was only $32.00 (on sale). Lark in the Morning has
them for $99 and up.

Drumming and Spirituality:
Plains Indians:
Here is why Sara posted what she did....
Many believe that the drum is sacred, itís said to
have spirits alive inside. Thatís why the Drum is
treated with respect. You CAN NOT teach drumming
without mentioning religion...sorry folks.

Hope this helps Fran...AND I HOPE YOU WILL "PAY IF
pardon the all caps - my cat just did that - but I
left it that way on purpose). Too many expect me to do
this for them and they feel no obligation to share
back. You just happened to "earn" my help today as
this is one of my "passions" - Get the meaning behind
the drums in there, too.


Judy Decker

Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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