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date: 11 July 2020

Bonkolo [bon, bonjalan, sogolon]locked

  • Rainer Polak


[bon, bonjalan, sogolon]

Conical drum of the Bamana, Boso, and Somono peoples of Mali. The hardwood body is 50 to 70 cm tall and 25 to 30 cm in diameter. A single head of goatskin or antelope rawhide is sewn to a rope lacing affixed to small holes near the bottom. The head is beaten by one bare hand and with one light stick, which produces a sharp cracking sound. The drum can be tuned by screwing short sticks into the staggered lacing. Ensembles usually consist of two to four bonkolo, one as the lead drum, the other(s) for ostinato accompaniment. Ensembles are complemented by a gangan (cylindrical drum of the dunun type) and a kettledrum (cun) up to 70 cm in diameter, which produces powerful bass lines. The most prominent focus of bonkolo-led drum ensemble performance is masquerade and puppetry of the Ségou region in central Mali. Bonjalan and ...

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