Wednesday, 9 April 2014

DRUMS: THE INSTRUMENTS FOR ALL PURPOSES.


OTUNBA AYANWALE LUKUMONU
Drums are seen and said to be the bringers of happiness or sadness. It all depends on the mood and perspective from which the drum message comes whether during celebration time or sorrowful period. The deity of drums is called Agalu and he is one of two hundred and one (201) deities like Egungun (The Masquerades), Orisa Oko (The Twins), Aje (The Witches) etc. In Yoruba land, Yoruba people are situated in the Western part of Nigeria, Agalu or deity of drums is appeased just like other deities by the drummers known as Ayan to clear their ways and open up business deals for them. 

The significance of Agalu to other deities is that he is in charge of the entertainment. Just like Orunmila divines to know the sacrifices meant for each of the deities, Agalu provides music while appeasement is going on. So, spiritually speaking, there is a strong musical connection between Agalu and other deities. The story has it that once upon a time there was a man
MR NOFIO THE DRUMMER
 FROM AJASHE BENIN REPUBLIC

called Agalu who was very powerful and nice to all. And anywhere there was an event, his contributions were always on point. This made everyone in the community to like him because of his way of enlivening any event. After a while the man called Agalu died and they buried him in the bush. The tree that grew on the spot he was buried was used to make the first drum. While making the talking drums, the Omo tree is used to carve the frame while the antelope skin is used to make the strings (Osan) that make the drums to produce different sounds. White skin made from goat is used in covering the two faces or one face of the drum. Drum making is hereditary or learned through apprenticeship and the art of drum making demands a lot of patience from the makers. Drum 
making business booms today because young men and old are participating in the art. The ensemble of Yoruba talking drums is four in number, and they are as follows: Gudugudu, Iya Ilu or Gangan, Kerikeri and Kannango. Gudugudu is the first drum because it is holding the rhythm and it is the pivot on which three other drums rest. Gangan or Iya Ilu makes the loudest of noise and it is used in talking while playing. It is even used in talking proverbs. The next
THE ART OF DRUM MAKING

in line is Kerikeri which is another drum accompanying while the next to that is called Kannango which accompanies like Kerikeri. These four are the ensemble of drums that can be used to perform at any event anywhere. And the sound is very rhythmic and unique. In the olden days, drum was used as a medium of communication between the king and the people. It was used to announce the death of someone, to pass the messages across to the people, to know the where about of someone, to appease the deities etc. 

And the impact of drums is still felt in our lives today because nobody can do without them. The deity of drums or Agalu is appeased with Gudugudu drum put down as his shrine while the appeaser gives Kolanut, Alligator-pepper, Schnapps, Bean-cake and a cockerel as offerings to pave ways for him. The significance of drums cannot be overemphasized because it replaces sadness with joy, dullness with life and hatred with love.

In conclusion, drums provide joy and happiness in social events like naming ceremony, coronation, house warming, chieftaincy titles etc. And it equally renders services to events like burials, rituals, appeasement of deities etc. So, whichever way we look at it, drums are the instruments of all purposes. Thank you!!!
 




Copyrights: © 2014

TRANSLATED AND WRITTEN BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN.

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