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Drum (iyalu dundun)
This instrument is considered the most important drum by the Yoruba, who call it iya, literally, the mother. It is played in almost any situation that requires music, mimicking spoken Yoruba speech tones. The varying sounds are obtained by holding the drum under the arm and squeezing the tension strings while striking the membrane with a curved stick. The bells also add sound.
What youll hear:
An iyalu dundun drum ensemble performs at a Yoruba wedding.
Esikesi from Yoruba Drums of Benin, West Africa (catalog #SF 40440) Courtesy Smithsonian Folkways Recordings