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The djembe

An Introduction to the Djembe

The djembe ('jem-beh') is the goblet-shaped drum originally used by the Maninke people of West Africa since the 1300s.

Djembe history is a rich and colourful tapestry of oral tradition woven by generations of musicians and story tellers.

Traditionally, the drum is more than just an instrument of entertainment. Songs and rhythms played on the drum are representative of events in the community, past and present, and a record for future generations.

Over the last 50 years, the djembe has exploded in popularity across the globe, and has made a considerable impact on the world music scene.

Since being exported from Africa in the 1950's, literally millions of people all over the world have heard the drum played and been swept away by its infectious beat.

From Aus to Alaska, musicians and fans have welcomed the beat of the West African drum and the culture of community it represents.

In the spirit of that community, we bring you this site. Enjoy, and remember, we love hearing from you all, so drop us a line and let us know your story.


Next article: Djembe history