"Anke dje, anke be" - according to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the Djembe comes from this saying, meaning "everyone gather together in piece" and defines the drums purpose.
The Djembe has a body carved of hardwood & a drumhead of goatskin. With a drum head sized up to 15" / 38cm diameter & height to 25" / 63 cm, weighing from 5 to 13 kg the Djembe can produce a wide variety of sounds, making it on of the most versatile drums. The drum is very loud & the Malinke people say a skilled drummer is one who "can make the Djembe talk" meaning that the player can tell an emotional story.
The Djembe originated in West Africa, possible over 1000 years ago, in the Mali Empire which included parts of the modern-day countries of Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast & Burkina Faso.The drums were used at social occasions with the storyteller accomponied by drummers, singers & dancers. Songs told of great leaders like King Sunjata, or the prowess of hunters and the drum is still the main instrument of dance used at marriages, baptisms and other occasions.
The Djembe first came to the attention of a wider audiance when Les Ballets Africains toured Europe from 1952. Since then the Djembe has been used by many modern artists such as the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Paul Simon, U2 & Cirque du Soleil
Most Djembes are still hand carved from tradtional woods and other Djembe-like instruments are made from fibreglass, however these are considered inferior and no professional player of note uses these instruments.
Our Fair Trade Djembe drums are traditionally-made made in the Artisans Village, Dakar, Senegal