While djembe were traditionally played by men, many consider the djembe itself to embody the female spirit. The Mandinka (Maninke) people of western Africa are believed to have created the djembe around 1300 AD and Mandinka men play them in various ceremonies and celebrations.
These days, women play djembe as often as men do and many female players say they feel closer to the spirit of the feminine divine when they play. Members of a djembe ensemble sing and clap hands, while dancing around a drum circle, showing off their skill. Singers, dancers and players may hold a single song for hours as the rhythm gets faster and more intense. Research shows that drumming not only provides heath advantages for men and women but can also release negative emotions and build confidence. And, let's face it: djembe players are sexy!
Djembe are simple to play and playing one can refine motor skills, boost your immune system and improve concentration. Plus, it can be a lot of fun with a nice circle of friends
Some people purchase a djembe for home decor and as a way to invite peace, harmony and an African flare into their home. Traditional instruments can add a unique accent to your home. But the magic of the djembe is in caressing it, cradling it and playing it! Djembe are said to be the "drum of a thousand voices." Each part of the djembe has spiritual meaning, including the body - the spirit of the wood and the head - the spirit of the animal skin. The drum builder's spirit is also a part of the drum. When you play djembe, you harmonize the three spirits of this traditional instrument with your own voice.
The three djembe in the cover photo and others are available at LACS online.
Model: Tyra Freeman, Photographer Dsto Moore.