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date: 14 November 2019

Atumpan [atukpani, atungblan]locked

  • K.A. Gourlay


[atukpani, atungblan]

Talking drum of West Africa. The atumpan, the principal talking drum of the Akan people of Ghana, is a large barrel drum with a tubular foot open at the base, thus resembling a giant goblet drum. The drums are played upright, usually in pairs (of different tones), by the master-drummer, who uses two angular hooked sticks. They also appear in ensembles as supporting drums. The atukpani is the corresponding drum of the Ewe of Ghana and the atungblan of the Baule people of the Ivory Coast. Atungblan are played in pairs by the chief’s master-drummer, and carry great prestige. On certain days fixed by the chief, the drummer calls to the ancestors by means of rhythmic formulae, and asks them to protect the community. Like other less important talking drums, atungblan are used to summon people to meetings. At public appearances of the chief, they are also used to drum proverbs. They may also be used, with other drums, gourd rattle, and clapperless bells, to accompany the ...

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