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date: 19 November 2019


  • J. Richard Haefer


Cylindrical single-headed drum of Jamaica. Possibly derived from the Konda mbanda, it is made from a hollow cedro amargo (Simarouba amara) or breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum) log 60 to 70 cm long and about 35 cm in diameter. It has a male goatskin head that is normally held by a hoop tied to the bottom of the drum with a twisted ligature; occasionally the head is nailed on. The head from a ritually sacrificed ram is cured in rum, dried, then moistened in water before being stretched over the drum body. The performer sits astride the instrument on the ground playing a steady beat, and a second player uses a pair of katta (sticks) to beat another pattern on the body of the drum. The heel of one foot on the head is used to vary the sound of the drum; more than one kbandu may be used....

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