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Collection Tier:
Tier 3

Musical Instruments
World Cultures ➔ Talking Drum and Stick

This tall and narrow drum, called a talking drum, is one of the oldest and most popular West African instruments. It may have come from the Yoruba people of Nigeria who called it a Gan Gan or Dun Dun. The name talking drum comes from its ability to imitate the rhythm, tone, and volume of human speech. To play, the drum is held under one arm while the head is stuck with a wooden stick or mallet. By squeezing or releasing the strings on the sides, the player could change the range of tones, allowing them to tell stories or songs as well as celebrate rituals and carry messages to other villages. During the 18th century, the talking drum was banned in the United States for fear that it would be used among enslaved people to start a rebellion. 
Wood, Hide, String
18.5" h 4" w ; 12" h
Current Location Status:
Education Program
Purchased With Funds From The Michigan Humanities Council

Discovery Kit: Music (October 14 2019)

Discovery Kits include a variety of artifacts and specimens from the Museum’s Collection that allow students to investigate global and local objects. The Collections support the Museum’s mission of inspiring curiosity and discovery around science, history, and culture. Each kit includes objects from the Museums archives, helpful resources and suggested activities. Discovery Kits are a great way for teachers to incorporate primary source and object-based learning into the classroom or as a way to prepare for or extend a Museum visit.

Virtual Discovery Kit: Music (April 2020)
Music is one of the first elements of culture that comes to mind. Music is found in all civilizations and has been for thousands of years. Use this collection to investigate a variety of musical instruments from around the world.
Bayard Gallery of Fine African-American Art