I am not only an African drum maker, I also repair drums.
I replace the goatskin heads on djembe drums. When I work with drums I always feel as if I am doing something that one of my ancestors had done long before me. I feel as though I am channeling this wisdom from the great beyond of my ancestors.
I was never formerly instructed in the art of drum making by anyone. Yet, I can say that I was instructed in drum making by guiding spirits. I have made hundreds of drums and my drums have been featured in two major museum exhibitions.
One day I repaired some drums for Onoche Chukwurah who is an Igbo storyteller from
Some things that happen to me are quite esoteric and difficult to explain; in terms of my knowledge of
Something esoteric was sparked in me by Onoche's comment about the Efik ethnic group. Earlier, I had told my older brother (who shares my passion for African cultural research) that I had a feeling that we had some connections in our family to the area of
When one thinks of the ethnic groups that have discernible cultural influence in the
I had heard the Abakuá music of
When I was younger, my mother would always refer to ñáñigo whenever she referred to traditional African religion. She never said Lucumi, Santeria, Obeah,Vodun or Palo. As far as I was concerned, there were some unexplained spirit concepts that I didn't understand but I only knew one word to describe them: ñáñigo. It was a word that I heard my mother and my grandmother use often but I thought Lucumi and ñáñigo were one and the same. When I got older I mistook ñáñigo for ñágo. What I did not realize is that ñáñigo and Abakuá are the same. Some people say that the secret society practiced a malevolent sorcery, still others disagree.
Looking at the Abakuá ceremonial costume I see some similarities with some of the masquerade costumes in