- Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:16 pm #25238
Here's Abdoul Doumbia playing, a djembe that he got from his teacher... he reckons it's 175 years old...
View it on Youtube
View it on Youtube
I think Abdoul says something like "the teacher of my teachers teacher", but I also doubt the djembe is that old. It looks like it has hardly any traces of this many years being used for music. The iron djembe (djembe with iron rings) is how old in Mali? Some thirty to thirtyfive years maximum? I wonder if traces can be detected on it of the former system. Last, but not least, the interviewer asks really suggestive: how old is this djembe? 200 years? that is the best way to get an answer like that...bkidd wrote:I'm not calling into question whether a djembe could be that old, but rather the leap that it is that old based on it coming from your teacher's teacher.
it could have been reskinned / ringedAccording to Rainer Polak and Mamady, players started to experiment with iron djembes in the late sixties and early seventies. There was a lot of resistance to the "new-fangled modern stuff" initially but, by the late eighties or early nineties, the modern mounting system had completely replaced the traditional stitching and rawhide rope.
Of course, as James wrote, it must have been reskinned quite often!djembefeeling wrote:the interviewer asks really suggestive: how old is this djembe? 200 years? that is the best way to get an answer like that...
Don't be afraid, that's what many people respect in most threads (remember the Madan dance thread and the love/marriage discussion that we had here or every little sentence that MK or FK say to please workshop participants in a particular situation and the reaction on the net)!Sometimes you shouldn't let the truth get in the way of a good story...
I'm not afraid - I can be quite the iconoclast when I smell bullshit. That said most oral traditions are based around gross exageration...I doubt the seige of Troy happened just as Homer recounts (Achilles' speed might have been somewhat over-egged) or that events in the bible are historically accurate.Sometimes you shouldn't let the truth get in the way of a good story...
Don't be afraid, that's what many people respect in most threads
Apology accepted Daniel..Afoba wrote:Sorry, Daniel
That's out of the question. I just wondered if there are traces of the old stitching and rawhide rope system like little wholes on top of the djembe to tell how old this djembe might be - this seems a bit easier to do for most of us than Carbon dating.Afoba wrote:Of course, as James wrote, it must have been reskinned quite often!
C'mon kid, you don't really think he does?! But we can still ask if this particular djembe can be 2oo years old.the kid wrote:There is a huge story telling tradition in west Africa. Do you hope all the stories are true?
The exotic aspect of West African culture wore off a long time ago. It's been an interesting journey as a student of West African music and culture. With a mostly oral tradition of knowledge, there's a lot of stock put in what someone says. Due cultural and language differences (not to mention leading questions from students), the pursuit of knowledge in this arena has been fraught with challenges. It's particularly difficult when information comes from second- or third-hand sources. Sometimes these puzzles are fun to work out, whereas, other times they are annoying to disentangle.Afoba wrote:
It's the wrong idea to start with, when talking about west african music in my eyes. It means that even on this site (where most people claim to look for knowledge), the knowledge aspect (or the searching for it) is much much weaker than the exotism aspect.
In fact, this might be true, but it makes me sad and less and less interested.