THE TALKING DRUM
INSTRUMENT OF LITURGY AND
OF MEDIATION WITH THE SACRED
GENERALLY SPEAKING, the outsider who comes to Africa for the first time is surprised by the omnipresence of the drum in both religious and profane ceremonies.The drum is an instrument that everybody hears and sees; it is the instrument of kings.
In the beginning of the colonial period, both administrators and missionaries waged a merciless war against the drum for various reasons. For the former, the drum was the instrument that participated actively in political resistance by signaling over a long distance to the natives the western military campaigns, the punitive expeditions, the time and itinerary of the repressive forces.
Christian missionaries found in the drum an excuse to wage a war against African traditional possession cults.They took away and destroyed thousands of drums, convinced that this membranophone was the diabolic instrument that liberated satanic maleficent forces and energies.
Once more the drum was judged from the exterior and condemned without an effort to study and understand what it represented in the