The Talking Drums of West Africa

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The Talking Drum is one of the most sacred instruments of West Africa. Shaped like an hourglass, the drum has a unique melodic sound which means it can imitate the tones of language and in this way speak words. Along with its spiritual power and healing properties, the talking drum is also a source of history, poetry and proverbs. Bridget Kendall traces the story of the talking drum to the present day with Mohamed Gueye from Senegal, who descends from a hereditary drummer family, Richard Olatunde Baker who specialises in the talking drum of the Yoruba of Nigeria, the Ivorian-French poet and novelist Veronique Tadjo who focuses on the influence of the talking drum on African literature and the Senegalese-French social anthropologist Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach. Photo: (from left to right) Veronique Tadjo, Mohamed Gueye, presenter Bridget Kendall, Richard Olatunde Baker and Hélène Neveu Kringelbach in The Forum studio.

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