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#37772
Hello everyone,

I have just bought a second hand djembe and need your assistance on tracking its origin and creation time.

It is a wide (35 cm) headed djembe with a big round bowl made of a Lenke wood.
According to its shape a decorations my rough guess is that it's a Malian djembe from Bamako.

Any help will highly appreciated (:
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#37779
From the carving I would also guess it's of Malian origin.

And Michi is right in that you usually cannot tell the time of creation just from the wood. In rare instances, though, you can find some information written into the bowl. The wood looks fantastic, flawless, and without any splinter. That is rare these days. So I guess it is not that recent, but recent enough for the wood to be without any sign of wear. So my best guess would settle at around five years. But why is that important to you?
#37781
For what it's worth, this style of carving is still being used for djembes made today. But I remember seeing that style on djembes well over ten years ago as well. I don't know when this pattern first came into use. If someone knows, you'd have at least an upper bound on the possible age.

I also don't see why it's important though. A well-kept djembe will literally last for decades, if not centuries.

Michi.
#37790
michi wrote:For what it's worth, this style of carving is still being used for djembes made today. But I remember seeing that style on djembes well over ten years ago as well. I don't know when this pattern first came into use. If someone knows, you'd have at least an upper bound on the possible age.

I also don't see why it's important though. A well-kept djembe will literally last for decades, if not centuries.

Michi.
Thanks Michi.

Regarding the age, usually when it comes to music instruments that are made of wood, older is better.

I noticed that djembe's shape and decorations has changed over the years. Most of today's djembes has a straight cut and round shape ones are harder to be found.

I guess that in the old days, decoration's style was kind of a stamp related to a country or region and used also as the artisan's signature.

When I first played this djembe, it was a magical moment for me.
It's hard to describe it in words... It's the first time I really fall in love with a djembe (:
I had few djembes before, but non of them was like this one.

The reason I wanted to track it's history is more emotional and spiritual and less because of it's price or anything related to materialistic things.

I wish I could meet the artisan who created this drum and give him a big hug :D
#37791
that piece could easily be 10+ years old. looks very familiar to what DSD was importing back then. also onetreedrums and irietones would also get similar shape/decorated shells.

it's a keeper for sure.
#37792
djembefeeling wrote:From the carving I would also guess it's of Malian origin.

And Michi is right in that you usually cannot tell the time of creation just from the wood. In rare instances, though, you can find some information written into the bowl. The wood looks fantastic, flawless, and without any splinter. That is rare these days. So I guess it is not that recent, but recent enough for the wood to be without any sign of wear. So my best guess would settle at around five years. But why is that important to you?
Thanks djembefeeling!
#37794
You are welcome! But after dugas informed reasoning I would rather estimate in that range of 10 years.

But you know, if you need to know that in order to get a better price for the djembe, it would be wrong to go with the lowest estimate. It doesn't matter if it is 5 or 10 years old for that purpose. The wood matures, and that is not a bad thing. Some people buying dununsets from me want brand new ones. But I would rather buy a good and well used set myself. The wood will not shrink any more, the skins are well set then. In fact, a used dununset is worth more than a brand new one that will sound good only after at least three years of playing. A djembe like that with no flaws will be worth more in a couple of years when hardly any good hardwood djembe without splinter will come from Africa.
#37799
A djembe like that with no flaws will be worth more in a couple of years when hardly any good hardwood djembe without splinter will come from Africa.
Whats a couple of years like 2 years? I would wonder is this really true or would you say in 20 years is more realistic or what? West Africa is a big Place with a lot of trees. I really don't know how many 1000's of hectares are forest but is it really being deforested so much that djembes will be scarce. Your statement may be true when we consider that drums are going up in price with inflation all the time any ways.

Maybe there is something lost in translation. To me a good djembe can have a splinter. A splinter is not a major flaw in a drum imo. Maybe you are suggesting the quality of drums in future will decline due to a shortage of quality trees? I can only presume that different trees will be used in future or somewhere along the line people are planting trees for djembes.

Maybe we have passed peak djembe and it's downhill from here!